The NYPD cop in the Eric Garner case is facing an internal investigation following Wednesday’s Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo. The decision has raised major concern which includes a federal probe, launched Thursday by Attorney General Eric Holder.
According to ABC News, Holder and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Loretta Lynch, both confirmed that an independent federal investigation will look into the July 17 incident. An internal search decision could take up to six months due to preparation of evidence and interviews with all NYPD officers involved in Garner’s case. ABC News reports that former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the internal decision could be made sooner due to public scrutiny and media coverage.
A federal probe could unearth evidence originally withheld from public notice. All police officers involved in the Garner case, except Pantaleo, have immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimonies. According to the attorney for Garner’s family, Jonathan Moore, officers were granted immunity before any evidence was ever presented. The new federal investigation could overturn the grand jury’s case based on evidence not yet heard.
As of Wednesday’s grand jury’s decision, the 29-year-old NYPD cop in the Garner case facing internal investigations was relieved of his badge and gun and is on paid suspension pending the investigations. The now-infamous eight-year police veteran released an apology to the Garner family, which Garner’s widow rejects.
New York’s top brass, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed plans to re-train their officers in a press conference held Thursday. The news conference held in the Police Academy in Queens, aims to teach New York’s finest police procedures following outrage from Garner supporters. According to many protesters, New York City cops have been guilty of unfairly targeting and mistreating certain persons of color.
The new procedures are intended to remind officers to treat all people fairly no matter what, says Commissioner Bratton in an Eyewitness News article. The reform comes amid civil unrest throughout New York City as activists and Garner supporters stage die-in protests halting traffic and blocking city streets similar to protests in Ferguson, MO.
Nearly 22,000 officers will receive three-day training which will gear towards lowering future violent incidents, says The Huffington Post. Starting Friday, Mayor de Blasio will also issue new police body cameras to 60 officers in five NYPD precincts in New York City including: Staten Island’s 120th Precinct; the 103rd Precinct in Queens; the 75th Precinct in East New York; the 23rd Precinct in East Harlem and the 40th Precinct in the Bronx.
The devices will be a pilot program for New York City officers to begin over the weekend and will hopefully lead towards a peaceful change between police officers and the community, says de Blasio. Marking the second consecutive day of protests, New York City Police arrested 223 protesters overnight Thursday after Pantaleo was cleared of grand jury charges.
According to ABC News, protesters hope for change now that the NYPD cop in the Garner case faces an internal investigation. De Blasio hopes the new proposals will cut what many activists are calling unfair treatment from the boys in blue, says The Huffington Post.
By Keeley Ibrahim
Photo courtesy of The All-Nite Images- Flickr License