The City of New York has reached a $5.9 million settlement with Eric Garner’s family in a wrongful death claim stemming from his death last July at the hands of Staten Island Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
Jonathan C. Moore, the Garner family lawyer according to the New York Times, gave New York City until July 17, the first anniversary of Eric’s death, to hammer out their financial truce before bringing the battle to court. There are still federal, state and local inquiries into the details of Garner’s death.
Last year Garner was killed by Pantaleo when the officer used an illegal chokehold on Garner during a conversation about the sale of loose cigarettes. Though Garner cried out “I can’t breathe” 11 times, Panteleo never let go. In December, despite watching the officer’s actions on camera and the city medical examiner ruling the death a homicide, a Staten Island grand jury failed to indict the officer for any crimes. Pantaleo was not fired; he’s now working a desk job and is guarded by a squad car each night. Garner’s wife Esaw, mother of his six children, has not forgiven Pantaleo.
In the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown, John Crawford, Akai Gurley and many more, Garner’s last words became a rallying cry across America and New York City as Black Lives Matter protestors picked up signs and marched after December’s grand jury ruling. Tuesday’s settlement is a minor victory, but it will never bring back Esaw’s husband, pick her children up from school or allow Gwen Carr to see her son alive again.
On Saturday Garner’s family is slated to host a rally near the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn with Rev. Al Sharpton to expedite an ongoing federal investigation against Pantaleo and the other officers involved in Eric’s death. From the police department’s side, they have ended their internal investigation but have not yet announced the results.
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Image via AP.