US

De Blasio: Garner's death not in vain; family says $5.9 million settlement not a victory

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio walks to a memorial service for Eric Garner at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in the Staten Island borough of New York Tuesday, July 14, 2015, just short of a year after Garner died while being taken into custody by New York City police officers. A $5.9 million settlement in Garner's death, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer's chokehold, was reached with the city this week, days before the anniversary of his death. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio walks to a memorial service for Eric Garner at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in the Staten Island borough of New York Tuesday, July 14, 2015, just short of a year after Garner died while being taken into custody by New York City police officers. A $5.9 million settlement in Garner's death, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer's chokehold, was reached with the city this week, days before the anniversary of his death. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)  (The Associated Press)

  • NYPD Staten Island Borough Commander Edward Delatorre, left, stands during a vigil with Esaw Snipes, right, wife of Eric Garner, and  second from right, Gwen Carr, mother of Garner, during a memorial service for Eric Garner at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in the Staten Island borough of New York Tuesday, July 14, 2015, just short of a year after Garner died while being taken into custody by New York City police officers. A $5.9 million settlement in  Garner's death, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer's chokehold, was reached with the city this week, days before the anniversary of his death. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    NYPD Staten Island Borough Commander Edward Delatorre, left, stands during a vigil with Esaw Snipes, right, wife of Eric Garner, and second from right, Gwen Carr, mother of Garner, during a memorial service for Eric Garner at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in the Staten Island borough of New York Tuesday, July 14, 2015, just short of a year after Garner died while being taken into custody by New York City police officers. A $5.9 million settlement in Garner's death, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer's chokehold, was reached with the city this week, days before the anniversary of his death. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)  (The Associated Press)

  • Benjamin Carr, stepfather of Eric Garner, is embraced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan during a memorial service for Eric Garner at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in the Staten Island borough of New York Tuesday, July 14, 2015, just short of a year after Garner died while being taken into custody by New York City police officers. A $5.9 million settlement in  Garner's death, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer's chokehold, was reached with the city this week, days before the anniversary of his death. Right is Rev. Al Sharpton and in background upper right is New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    Benjamin Carr, stepfather of Eric Garner, is embraced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan during a memorial service for Eric Garner at the Mount Sinai United Christian Church in the Staten Island borough of New York Tuesday, July 14, 2015, just short of a year after Garner died while being taken into custody by New York City police officers. A $5.9 million settlement in Garner's death, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer's chokehold, was reached with the city this week, days before the anniversary of his death. Right is Rev. Al Sharpton and in background upper right is New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)  (The Associated Press)

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the death of an unarmed black man who was held in a police chokehold wasn't in vain, and could help change the relationship between police officers and the communities they patrol.

De Blasio spoke Tuesday night at a church service in honor of Eric Garner.

The city on Monday reached a $5.9 million settlement with Garner's family over his July 2014 death. His family said they would continue pressing for federal civil rights charges.

The city medical examiner found the police chokehold contributed to Garner's death. But a lawyer for Officer Daniel Pantaleo, said the officer used a permissible takedown maneuver known as a seatbelt — not a chokehold, banned under New York Police Department policy.

A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.