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Tag: Eric Garner

Justice Department Shakeup Seeks to Jumpstart Probe into Eric Garner’s Death

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual shakeup, the Justice Department has dumped a New York team of agents and lawyers investigating the death of Eric Garner, who was killed when a police officer placed him in a chokehold over selling untaxed cigarettes.

The Justice Department is replacing the agents and lawyers after the case has been stymied over a dispute between federal prosecutors and FBI officials about whether to file charges, the New York Times reports.

Prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department have been in favor of filing charges, saying there is sufficient evidence in the case.

Recently FBI agents were replaced with agents outside of New York. Federal prosecutors were taken off the case.

It’s not yet clear whether the civil rights prosecutors will work solo to present evidence to a grand jury.

The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment.

The shakeup was criticized for the attorney of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner, 43, in a chokehold.

“If it is true that the Justice Department is rejecting the recommendations of seasoned F.B.I. agents and assistant United States attorneys, this is a gross miscarriage of justice,” the attorney, Stuart London, said. “In our system of justice, politics should never take the place of the rule of law.”

New York Mayor: Justice Department Not Dragging Feet on Eric Garner Probe

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Despite concerns about the pace of the investigation into the death of Eric Garner, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed claims that the Justice Department is dragging its feet.

The mayor said he was notified by U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the case was a top priority, but it also is complicated and requires meticulously obtained evidence, CBS reports. 

“No one is dragging their feet and we have to make sure the resolution afterwards is fair and just,” de Blasio said.

Garner died two years ago after police tried to arrest him for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Garner told officers he couldn’t breathe after he appeared to be placed in a chokehold by a cop.

“The real issue in preventing these tragedies is working to make sure they don’t happen again in the future,” de Blasio said.

Other Stories of Interest

Official Record of Police Shootings Has Major Omissions, Including Eric Garner, Tamir Rice

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Their killings prompted nationwide protests about the use of force by police but their names are missing from a federal government’s official database of homicides by officers, the Guardian reports. 

The absence of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford’s names raises new questions about the government’s official record of police shootings.

FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said the database is voluntary for police departments.

“We have no way of knowing how many incidents may have been omitted,” Fischer told the Guardian in an email.

A review by the Guardian found many flaws and omissions.

“It’s just another part of the cover-up and erasing of his murder from the record,” said Eric Garner’s daughter, Erica Garner.

Suburban Detroit Man Accused of Threatening to Behead NYPD Officer

Alvaro Eduardo Guzman-Telles via Facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A suburban Detroit man with Asperger’s syndrome faces up to five years in prison after the FBI said he threatened on Facebook to behead a New York police officer who placed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in a fatal chokehold, the Detroit News reports.

Alvaro Eduardo Guzman-Telles also is accused off posting on Facebook that people should kill police officers.

“Kill all cops on sight. No matter the circumstances,” Guzman-Telles is accused of writing.

The NYPD’s police union wanted to “convey our deepest appreciation to (the FBI) for following up and making an arrest in a case of a threat against one of our officers.”

His dad said the threats were empty and just an expression of his free speech rights.

“It’s just words. He was venting,” his father told The News. “It is symbolic language. That does not mean he was going to do that.”

FBI Agents Handling Civil Rights Investigation of Eric Garner’s Death Are Experienced With Such Cases

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI team handling the civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man killed by a white NYPD officer, has plenty of experience with long-term probes and public corruption cases. 

CNN reports that the New York-based agents are taking a “free look” into the July death of Garner, who was killed while being placed in an illegal chokehold.

A grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer led to protests nationwide.

One of the agents specializes in long-term investigation in the white-collar crime division.

The FBI will be reviewing the actions of the officers to determine whether the civil rights of Garner were violated.

 

FBI Plans to Take Months to Investigate Chokehold Death of Eric Garner

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s investigation into the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City will take several months and only recently got off the ground, ABC News reports.

The federal government hasn’t set a timeline for the probe, which will be watched nationwide as protests continue to spring up after a grand jury decided not to indict the officer.

The FBI is beginning to collect evidence from the State Island district attorney’s office.

The federal probe is running concurrently with an NYPD internal investigation.

The FBI investigation is focused on whether a hate crime was committed when police officers were engaged in the July 17 altercation, which was caught on cell phone video.