What do you think of the decision not to charge officer Daniel Pantaleo?

A New York City police officer was not indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in connection to Eric Garner’s death, MPR Newsreported.

Jurors said they did not have enough evidence to charge Officer Daniel Pantalo, The New York Times reported.

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Garner, who was black, died in July after being held  in a chokehold by Officer Pantalo, who is white, after Garner was allegedly seen selling cigarettes on the sidewalk, MPR News reported. Garner’s death went viral after video footage of his death was released.

Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, but the medical examiner also noted that Garner suffered from asthma and heart disease, which also contributed to his death.

The ruling has sparked protests with the slogan “Black lives matter.”

President Obama also weighed in on the matter. MPR News reports:

President Obama says the Eric Garner case “speaks to the larger issues that we’ve been talking about now for the last week, the last month, the last year — and sadly, for decades. And that is, the concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way.”

Today’s Question: What do you think of the decision not to charge officer Daniel Pantaleo?

  • Jamie

    I’d like to know what happened in between the “Don’t touch me” and the cop jumping on him. There’s a very crucial gap in the sequence of events.

    • Baby girl

      Officer Pantaleo did not realize that he can’t hurt anyone without hurting himself. Vengeance is mines, said the Lord, I will repay.

  • Gary F

    Wow, the moral of the story is NEVER to cheat the government out of tax revenue, no matter how small. The beast must be fed, even if it’s for the loss of revenue from selling individual cigarettes.

    Where is Al Sharkton and Jessie HiJackson for this guy?

    • >>Where is Al Sharkton and Jessie HiJackson for this guy?<<

      That's just precious.

  • Don’t shoot

    I think we can all stop calling cops “heros”. They are just people doing a job, and in many cases they are doing that job quite poorly.

  • Ellen

    If I was not home with my baby I would be in the streets with these people. It is time for us to turn our attention away from those that can watch that video and have questions about whether or not it was justified. It is time that energy was poured into each other as we struggle to make a world worthy of the beauty and dreams of our children. As a white person I have a lot of work to do with other white people to confront this predator white supremacy that lives in our institutions and minds. I am sad, mad, confused and not surprised by the lack of indictment but I am inspired by all the people standing up and shutting it down. Black Live Matter and when we really get that, things will change.

    • whitedoggie44

      Blacks are 15% of the population but constitute 50% of all murders of which 90% are committed by other blacks, It would appear to me police presence protects blacks from further murders. Why not the outage of thousands of black on black murders? I don’t condone excessive use of force by police but it is more a black on black issue based on the facts and statistics.

      • Peter Tobias

        Blacks do protest black-on-black crime, you can, too. This is about police feeling above the people they should serve and protect.

      • grob1961

        Screw all the stat crap. Cops make mistakes too. Hold them responsible. We depend on their protection not destruction. “whitedoggie44” name (stats) says a lot about u.

        • whitedoggie44

          Sorry moron, stats mean everthing. Much rather run into a cop at midnight walking in the city than two black men. If cops go way, how many many additional black on black murders? No marches or stopping traffic unless there is some political statement to make. Don’t the protesters have jobs??

          • Yanotha Twangai

            First, I have trouble taking seriously anyone who calls others morons. It gives the impression that you’re closed-minded to other points of view.

            Second, there’s a big difference between statistics and the truth that lies behind them. Your comments seem to be implying that black-on-black crime is evidence that racial prejudice among whites is not a problem, or is unrelated to this case. It’s denial, pure and simple. I’m convinced, based on the evidence, that one reason black-on-black crime is such a problem is that cops don’t pursue justice as vigorously as they do in cases of crime against whites. I take it as evidence that prejudice is a problem, not (as you seem to be doing) that your racial prejudice is justified.

            White guys like you who cast aspersions on blacks rather than admitting that we need to do a better job of getting along with our fellow human beings make it hard for black folks to trust white guys like me, and I resent it. You’re making the problem worse, not better.

          • whitedoggie44

            I just do not respond well to stupid comments as facts do matter. Perhaps if police received more cooperation in the black community, they could solve more black on black murders. Is this your way of hoping to suppress free speech? Black on black crime, in my opinion, is a greater concern than police brutality. If you want to ignore the FACTs that is your right.

          • Yanotha Twangai

            Funny, I thought I was exercising free speech, in refusing to be intimidated by your bluster and calling attention to your rudeness and the racist slant of your comments. Yes, facts matter, but you are twisting the facts to fit your racist agenda. You have your constitutional right to spew your verbal venom, and I have mine to rebuke you for it. Not everything one has a right to do is right to do.

  • cy

    Choke hold was extreme. The perpetrator should have loosened his grip. Too bad the victim just didn’t listen to the cop and do what he was told before it got to this point. Seems that’s usually the case in these things.

    • Peter Tobias

      Eric Garner did not attack officers, and choke hold should have never been applied.

      • Considering that it has been deemed an “Illegal” move by the NYPD you are correct.

        Hold this officer accountable…

    • Flowin

      There is no excuse for what was on that video clip.

  • Jim G

    I understand Officer Pantaleo testified before the Grand Jury. Other than that we have no information about the proceedings. The perceived truth in the video, validated by the Medical Examiner, is that Eric Garner’s death was a homicide. The people who caused his death heard him say eleven times,”I can’t breath…” yet four policemen continued to apply a choke hold and sit on his chest. Where is compassion? Where is justice?

  • Tina Halfmann

    If I were not at work, I’d be there with the protesters. End police brutality before more people die! I hope more protests are organized!

  • Sue de Nim

    Evaluating the grand jury’s decision is less important at this point than for white folks to try to understand why black and brown folks have such a hard time trusting the police and the justice system. If your experience with the police consisted mainly of being harassed (e.g., stopped for driving while black) and of being told that there’s nothing they can do about the crimes you call to report, you’d be suspicious too. Even though most white folks are fair-minded about race (or try to be at least), and even though most white cops are entirely honorable, there is still enough racial prejudice among whites (including cops) that if you’re black in America, you are affected by it on a daily basis.

    • Peter Tobias

      I would not make this about race but about making the police treat people better, white and black and …

      • Sue de Nim

        It already is about race, whether you would make it so or not. Other things being equal, white people tend to get better treatment from cops than black people do.

        • Peter Tobias

          Blacks get tteated worse on aversge, correct. Whites get mistreated, too, and that common fate gives us better chances to improve police-comminity relations.

          • Yanotha Twangai

            That depends on what whites you’re talking about. Law-abiding rich and middle class whites have almost nothing to fear from cops (and rich whites have almost nothing to fear even if they’re not law-abiding). I, a middle-aged white man in a white-collar occupation, regularly drive 7 or 8 mph over the speed limit and hardly ever get a second look from cops. My black friends, regardless of economic status, have all been stopped on the road or the sidewalk for essentially no reason at all.

          • Peter Tobias

            Yanotha, I agree. There are other whites, however, for example, there was Kelly Thomas, see under


          • Yanotha Twangai

            True enough. The Kelly Thomas case points to another problem that we also need to deal with, the way we mistreat the mentally ill. But this case reminds us of the fact that racial prejudice is still a problem in America, and it does no good to deny or minimize it. Right-wingers keep harping on the idea that “good” black people should be encouraging other blacks to behave better. I’m just, ya know, that one guy, who’s trying to encourage other white folks to examine their attitudes, acknowledge prejudice where it exists, and behave better toward racial minorities.

          • Peter Tobias

            Yanotha, we need majorities to reliably change police conduct. To encourage white folks to examine their attitude about fearing blacks is good but insisting now on white self-chastising weakens the push to change police conduct. Afterwards, I can speak with my son why the black teenager who rode off with his bicycle should not be seen as the typical black.

          • Yanotha Twangai

            I’m not calling for self-chastisement. I’m calling for honesty, humility, repentance, and striving to do better. But even at that, the world would be a lot better off if more people of all sorts would engage in a little self-chastisement from time to time. There’s too much arrogant self-righteousness, and too much of the attitude of “Well, at least I’m not as bad as those people who do that sort of thing.”

  • Peter Tobias

    We see the video and wonder: how can using a forbidden chokehold that kills a man not be manslaughter? Garner didn’t cooperate with his arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, but neither did he attack the police and there seemed plenty of time to make him cooperate. Officer Pantaleo says he’s sorry but he took a live.

    • Peter Tobias

      Still, officer Pantaleo might avoid justice in the end, because federal charges require willful acting, not just negligence.

  • Roseanne Lasater

    It’s more evidence that the entire system is ill-founded and poorly managed. But the problem is the fear that’s driving it.

  • Sasha Dragic

    When I first saw the Garner video, I could not believe what I was seeing. It was not clear at first what Garner did, and why the police were at him. Garner was calm and non aggressive. There was “no” evident reason for the police to do what they did. If he was selling untaxed cigarrettes….”really”? The whole thing is crazy. As the event unfolded, it was clear to me that the police totally overreacted. You could clearly hear Garner saying he couldn’t breathe. Garner did nothing to provoke the police. They really screwed up on this one. I am white and I cannot see any other reason except that Garner was black, which is why this occurred. Being white and female, I myself have a distrust of the police. The police departments across the country really need to do some internal work on their image. This case is quite different than Brown in the Missouri case.

  • Juan Viche

    – No justice, no peace.. Know justice, know peace –




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    • Reader

      I don’t know exactly what your website is about, but the work appears excruciatingly detailed and against intransigent authorities abusing their powers, a very difficult work indeed. And, it’s a scary business for the implied abuses suggested in the various entries.

  • grob1961

    Daniel Pantaleo made a mistake and should be held responsible. If I accidently hurt or kill someone I would be held responsible. I would no doubt have to go to trial no matter what. Daniel Pantaleo should be in court fighting for his freedom.

  • Rick

    Hundreds of police killings are not included in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s records on the matter.
    More than 550 homicides by police officers between 2007 and 2012 were missing from the federal statistics or not attributed to the law enforcement agency involved, the Wall Street Journal reported.
    This makes it nearly impossible to figure out how many people cops kill — justifiably or not — every year.
    To compile the report, the Journal looked at the internal figures of killings by police from 105 of the nation’s 110 largest police departments. Apparently, five declined its request for access.
    The internal records show at least 1,800 deaths during the aforementioned timeframe. That is about 45 percent higher than the FBI’s tally of 1,242, according to the broadsheet.
    Why don’t the FBI records contain these additional deaths?
    Clearly, some law enforcement agencies are not reporting all the police killings that happen on their watch.
    Many activists have been speaking out against what they consider unfair treatment for people of color by law enforcement and the justice system.
    Furthermore, recent studies have revealed that the racial divide in U.S. arrest rates is staggering.
    Last month, USA Today reported that at least 1,581 police departments in the United States arrest African-Americans at a higher rate than the Ferguson Police Department.
    And black people in Ferguson are arrested nearly three times more than other races, according to the study, which compared arrests reported to the FBI in 2010 and 2011.

  • Reader

    Police behavior now needs to be examined not only for wide spread racial bias and the brutality that seems to inevitably follow, but also for embodying psychological perversions in its personnel.

    I say this even though I didn’t find the officer in this case to be particularly brutal, but more a product of a system that seems to train police in over reach that does smack of totalitarian force and police terror. And by dismissing a trial in this case, the justice system does endorse this kind of “unfortunate” killing by turning a blind eye to it.

    In a PBS program long ago detailing the advent and continuation of the Jim Crow system in slave states, it was suggested that race is not the only qualification for differential abuse by police (and associated commercial interests that exploit the system). It suggested that poverty alone can qualify one for this kind of treatment.

    Unless you’re tethered to the corporate machine for life and thus protected, or have very deep pockets you will have some degree of uncertainty whether there will be a time in your life that you fall on hard times… and exploitation by the de facto Police State. Perhaps even tortured. But minimally trapped by a Kafkaesk Prison Industrial Complex and co-opted system of justice.