Harris slams DOJ decision not to charge police in Eric Garner's death

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.), a 2020 White House hopeful, slammed a decision by federal prosecutors to not charge a New York City police officer for the 2014 death of Eric Garner, saying “our criminal justice system should be rooted in accountability.”

“This is a miscarriage of justice. Our criminal justice system should be rooted in accountability. My heart breaks for the Garner family,” Harris, a former prosecutor, tweeted. 

Harris implemented a series of criminal justice reform policies during her tenure as California attorney general, establishing a statewide body camera program.

As a senator, Harris has also backed legislation to provide funding for body cameras.

 

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Harris was joined by Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.), a fellow Democratic presidential candidate, in condemning the decision. 

 

 

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Wednesday will mark the fifth anniversary of Garner’s death and would have been the deadline to file certain civil rights or criminal charges against New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Pantaleo placed Garner, an unarmed black man, in a headlock on July 17, 2014, while attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes.

Garner was heard saying “I can’t breathe” as he died.

Pantaleo has denied using a chokehold, which is not allowed under NYPD policy, on Garner, but a medical examiner concluded that Garner’s death was the result of an asthma attack caused by a chokehold. 

The medical examiner also ruled that Garner’s death was a homicide, or caused by another’s deliberate actions regardless of whether the killing was deliberate.

The officer has been on desk duty since Garner’s death. A state grand jury declined to indict him later in 2014.

Garner was one of numerous unarmed black men to die at the hands of police that led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has gained the backing of various left-leaning politicians.