The mother of Eric Garner, who was killed by an NYPD police officer during his 2014 arrest, decried the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute her son’s killer, during an emotional press conference Tuesday morning. “We’re here with heavy hearts because the DOJ has failed us,” Gwen Carr said. “Five years ago my son said ‘I can’t breathe’ 11 times, and today we can’t breathe because they have let us down.” Carr vowed to “keep fighting.” “We are asking the commissioner to make the right decision, that officer Pantaleo and all the officers who was involved in my son’s death that day need to be off the force. The streets of New York City are not safe with them walking around,” she said. Garner’s family was joined by Rev. Al Sharpton, who called the ruling a “moral disgrace” and “judicial malpractice.” “This decision says that the federal civil rights are not protected no matter the evidence may be,” he said.
The Justice Department announced Tuesday, exactly five years after Garner’s death, that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo would not be charged with violating Garner’s civil rights. Pantaleo choked Garner, who was stopped for allegedly selling loose cigarettes, for 15 seconds, as the 43-year-old repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” “You killed my son, and you won’t get away with it,” Carr said Tuesday.