Court blocks effort to unseal grand jury testimony in chokehold death of Eric Garner

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New York's highest court has blocked an effort to unseal the testimony that a grand jury heard before declining to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

The Court of Appeals on Monday denied a motion asking it to review a lower court ruling that prevented the public from seeing the testimony. That ruling echoed a previous lower court decision that cited longstanding principles of grand jury secrecy.

The city's public advocate and legal groups wanted the testimony released. They say people need a clearer view of how grand jurors reached their decision in a case that ignited widespread protests about police treatment of blacks.

Police suspected Garner of illegally selling loose cigarettes. He died after a white police officer took him to the ground in a chokehold.