CRIME

Reaction to grand jury finding in chokehold death

  • FILE - In this undated family file photo provided by the National Action Network, Eric Garner, right, poses with his children during a family outing. According to a lawyer for the victim’s family, a New York City grand jury on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 cleared a white police officer in the videotaped chokehold death of the unarmed Garner, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. (AP Photo/Family photo via National Action Network, File)

    FILE - In this undated family file photo provided by the National Action Network, Eric Garner, right, poses with his children during a family outing. According to a lawyer for the victim’s family, a New York City grand jury on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 cleared a white police officer in the videotaped chokehold death of the unarmed Garner, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. (AP Photo/Family photo via National Action Network, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • People lie on the ground at Grand Central Terminal after it was announced that the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner is not being indicted, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in New York. A grand jury cleared the white New York City police officer Wednesday in the videotaped chokehold death of Garner, an unarmed black man, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, a lawyer for the victim's family said. A video shot by an onlooker and widely viewed on the Internet showed the 43-year-old Garner telling a group of police officers to leave him alone as they tried to arrest him. The city medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide and found that a chokehold contributed to it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    People lie on the ground at Grand Central Terminal after it was announced that the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner is not being indicted, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in New York. A grand jury cleared the white New York City police officer Wednesday in the videotaped chokehold death of Garner, an unarmed black man, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, a lawyer for the victim's family said. A video shot by an onlooker and widely viewed on the Internet showed the 43-year-old Garner telling a group of police officers to leave him alone as they tried to arrest him. The city medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide and found that a chokehold contributed to it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)  (The Associated Press)

  • People lie on the ground at Grand Central Terminal after it was announced that the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner is not being indicted, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in New York. A grand jury cleared the white New York City police officer Wednesday in the videotaped chokehold death of Garner, an unarmed black man, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, a lawyer for the victim's family said. A video shot by an onlooker and widely viewed on the Internet showed the 43-year-old Garner telling a group of police officers to leave him alone as they tried to arrest him. The city medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide and found that a chokehold contributed to it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    People lie on the ground at Grand Central Terminal after it was announced that the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner is not being indicted, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in New York. A grand jury cleared the white New York City police officer Wednesday in the videotaped chokehold death of Garner, an unarmed black man, who had been stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, a lawyer for the victim's family said. A video shot by an onlooker and widely viewed on the Internet showed the 43-year-old Garner telling a group of police officers to leave him alone as they tried to arrest him. The city medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide and found that a chokehold contributed to it. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)  (The Associated Press)

Reaction to a grand jury's decision Wednesday to clear Daniel Pantaleo, a white New York City police officer, in the videotaped chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man:

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"I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can't protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss." — Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

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"I am actually astonished based on the evidence of the videotape, and the medical examiner, that this grand jury at this time wouldn't indict for anything." — Jonathan Moore, lawyer for Garner's family.

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"This is a deeply emotional day — for the Garner family and all New Yorkers. ... Today's outcome is one that many in our city did not want. ... We all agree that demonstrations and free speech are valuable contributions to debate, and that violence and disorder are not only wrong — but hurt the critically important goals we are trying to achieve together." — Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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"While we are pleased with the grand jury's decision, there are no winners here today. There was a loss of life that both a family and a police officer will always have to live with." — Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

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"Clearly, this matter was of special concern in that an unarmed citizen of our county had died in police custody. For that reason, a dedicated grand jury was impaneled exclusively to hear this case, committed to serving in that capacity for the months the investigation would entail. ... I would like to thank them for their time, effort and commitment to this investigation, and for the careful manner in which they discharged their solemn duty as grand jurors." — Staten Island District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr.

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"Cold-blooded murder. We saw it on TV — it's on video. The whole world saw it. Ferguson, now us." — Jennie Chambers, who works on Staten Island and saw Eric Garner daily.