The Department of Justice is considering pressing charges against the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, according to The New York Times, but top officials may not approve the indictment. While federal civil rights prosecutors have recommended charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island officer who put Garner in a fatal chokehold for selling loose cigarettes, current and former DOJ officials said the chances of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approving the case are “unlikely.” Both Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been briefed on the case, but the Trump administration has pushed back efforts to investigate excessive force in police departments. Civil rights attorneys and leaders in the Obama administration also fought about whether or not to build a case against Pantaleo: Indictments against police officers are rarely successful, as juries have historically sided with cops who use deadly force under pressure. A New York grand jury declined to press charges against Pantaleo, who was placed on desk duty after Garner's death in 2015.
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