On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict the NYPD officer who placed a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner this summer. Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, placed a chokehold on Garner, who was black, during a violent arrest that was recorded on video by a witness. The grand jury made its decision after hearing months of testimony, including from Pantaleo.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has been quietly investigating the circumstances surrounding Garner's death for months to see if his civil rights were violated, CNN reports. "This is an issue we've been dealing with for too long and it's time for us to make more progress than we've made," President Obama said on Wednesday. He also said that Attorney General Eric Holder will have "more specific comments about the case in New York."
Garner's widow expressed outrage at the verdict. "Oh my god, are you serious?," she told the New York Daily News upon hearing the news. "You can see in the video that he was dead wrong."
Garner's family plans to appear in Harlem with Al Sharpton around 7 p.m. A "die in" protest already took place inside Grand Central Terminal as others got under way across the city.
Staten Island's district attorney, Daniel M. Donovan said he's seeking the court's permission to release more information regarding the grand jury's proceedings because he is not currently allowed to under New York law. He released a statement saying he applied for a court order this afternoon and that it is "under consideration."