No indictment in the Eric Garner case leaves some confused
USC law professor Seth Stoughton said he is confused by the grand jury's decision
Demonstrators filled New York City streets quoting Eric Garner's words,"I can't breathe"
By: Emmonie Crumblin
A grand jury in New York decided to not indict a white police officer involved in the choke hold death of an unarmed black man Tuesday.
New York police officer confronted Garner for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes. Police say he refused to cooperate and became combative. Garner was then put in a choke hold. Garner passed out and was later pronounced dead.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, but a grand jury determined the officer should not face charges.
Demonstrators protested across the nation when the decision was released.
"You've got to be kidding me. You've really got to be. They really didn't indict him? Why, where's the justice at," one New York protestor asked.
"It is extremely unlikely a grand jury would refuse to return a prosecutors push for an indictment. I'm a little confused too about that because the standard is so low, indictments are very very easy to obtain when a prosecutor wants one. The famous quote is a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich," USC law professor Seth Stoughton said.
He said the no indictment actually caught him off guard.
"I was a little bit surprised about Officer Wilson not being indicted for the Michael Brown shooting because the prosecutor pushing for an indictment in that case may not have been pushing for a clearance but certainly wasn't pushing for an indictment. I'm more surprised in the Eric Garner case and I don't have an explanation. It's been much less open than the Ferguson grand jury proceedings," he said.
Protestors around the nation only see police brutality against African-American men even though the circumstances surrounding the Garner and Brown case are different.
The Department of Justice is investigating the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri, to see if police officers violated their civil rights.