A year after the choking death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD, Garner’s family renewed calls to criminally charge the officer responsible for his death on Tuesday, reports Yahoo! News.
If you recall, a grand jury declined in December to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner in the fatal chokehold, which is a maneuver banned by the New York City Police Department. On Tuesday, Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner, his mother, Gwen Carr, and three of his children held a press conference alongside Reverend Al Sharpton.
“We are losing our family members and they are not losing anything,” said Esaw, who broke down in tears several times during the conference. “Now I am alone to deal with this my whole life.”
The conference comes a day after the family accepted a $5.9 million settlement in the tragic death of Garner on Monday (July 13). A deal, that according to New York Daily News , New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he hopes will bring “peace.”
“No sum of money can make this family whole, but hopefully the Garner family can find some peace and finality from today’s settlement,” the mayor said. “By reaching a resolution, family and other loved ones can move forward even though we know they will never forget this tragic incident.”
The $5.9 million settlement is the largest stemming from a wrongful death killing at the hands of police in the history of New York City. It was reached after the family rejected the city’s offer for $5 million last week, following their request for $75 million filed last October.
A lawyer for the family, Jonathan Moore, announced that a separate amount had been settled with the Richmond University Medical Center, the establishment that employed the EMTs who responded to the scene, but failed to aid Garner.
Garner was murdered in Staten Island July 17, 2014 after being put in a chokehold by Pantaleo from behind and charged to the ground with the help of several other officers. Garner, who suffered from asthma, complained repeatedly that he could not breath. The altercation unfolded after the 43-year-old father of six was accused of selling illegal cigarettes.
Despite the settlement, Garner’s mother expressed her disapproval. “The settlement that we got isn’t a victory,” she said. “The victory will come when we get justice. Where is the justice?”
A rally to indict the officers involved is planned on Saturday outside a Brooklyn federal courthouse.