Gwen Carr

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

Eric Garner's Mother Demands Greater Accountability For Son's Death

July 26, 2018 - 3:16 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The Civilian Complaint Review Board will handle the disciplinary hearing against the police officer seen putting Eric Garner in a chokehold before his death.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported Thursday, Garner’s mother heard from the board – and is still disappointed that it has taken four years to get to this point.

“It’s been a nightmare,” said Gwen Carr.

It has been four years since Garner was killed, and Carr, his mother, is still waiting for justice.

“Because I’ve been waiting four years for someone to come to me and tell me what is going to happen, and there’s nothing,” Carr said.

The CCRB will only handle the case of Daniel Pantaleo. He is the officer who applied the chokehold against Garner in the arrest on Staten Island on July 17, 2014.

Sgt. Kizzy Adonis is facing an NYPD trial.

But other officers were there.

“We want all the officers prosecuted,” Carr said. “We don’t want anything less.”

The Police Department declined to charge anyone else.

Garner, 43, was stopped outside a Staten Island convenience store because police officers believed he was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A video shot by an onlooker shows Garner telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed.

Officer Pantaleo then placed his arm around Garner's neck to take him down. Garner, who had asthma, is heard repeating the phrase "I can't breathe" 11 times before losing consciousness. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital.

A Staten Island grand jury declined grand jury declined to file charges against Pantaleo in December 2014, but in 2016 a federal grand jury began hearing evidence regarding whether Garner's civil rights were violated, a source told CBS News at the time.

A letter last week from an NYPD lawyer informed the Department of Justice that it would no longer wait for federal authorities to decide whether to charge Pantaleo in the Garner case. The letter said that after four years since Garner's death, the federal probe “seems to have no end in sight” and the department could no longer justifying delaying its own administrative case.

Soon afterward, the DOJ told the NYPD to go forward with the disciplinary proceedings.