On Tuesday, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. announced that he will take the case of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of a New York Police Department officer to a grand jury.
Garner, 43, died last month after a police officer who suspected the father of six of selling loose cigarettes put him in a chokehold. The practice has been banned from use by the NYPD.
“Based upon the investigation that my office has conducted to date regarding the July 17, 2014, death of Eric Garner, and after a careful review of the recent findings of the Medical Examiner regarding the cause and manner of Mr. Garner’s death, I have determined that it is appropriate to present evidence regarding the circumstances of his death to a Richmond County Grand Jury,” Donovan said. “Yesterday, the Court granted my application for the impaneling of an additional Grand Jury and I intend to utilize that Grand Jury sometime next month to begin presenting evidence on this matter. ”
“Mindful of the solemn oath to enforce the law that I took when I was first sworn into office as District Attorney in January of 2004, and with a full appreciation that no person is above the law, nor beneath its protection, I assure the public that I am committed to conducting a fair, thorough, and responsible investigation into Mr. Garner’s death, and that I will go wherever the evidence takes me, without fear or favor.”
Read more at 7online.com.
Meanwhile, a grand jury will begin hearing evidence on Wednesday in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager gunned down by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
A grand jury will start hearing from witnesses about the shooting that left Brown, 18, dead, Ed Magee, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, said in a telephone interview today. The shooting sparked more than a week of violent protests in Ferguson.
Read more at Bloomberg.
And in Los Angeles, police have delayed the release of a pending autopsy report for Ezell Ford, the 25-year-old man fatally shot by an officer last week.
Ford’s family said the unarmed man had been battling mental illness for some time.
“Pending further investigative and forensic analysis, the LAPD Force Investigation Division investigators have requested that The Los Angeles County Coroner place an investigative hold on the pending autopsy report,” read an LAPD press release issued Monday.
LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told Southern California public radio station KPCC that investigative holds are common in cases that are currently ongoing and in active investigations, in order to keep witness testimony from being tainted.
“They could use information from the autopsy to give credibility to their story,” Smith said.
It is unclear how long the hold will last.
Read more at The Huffington Post.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty