STATEN ISLAND — A grand jury investigation into the death of Eric Garner will be opened next month, Staten Island's District Attorney said Tuesday.
“I have determined that it is appropriate to present evidence regarding the circumstances of his death to a Richmond County Grand Jury," DA Daniel Donovan announced.
"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.”
Garner’s July 17th death was ruled a homicide caused in part by a chokehold administered by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the city's medical examiner ruled.
The ME issued a report saying Garner’s death was caused by compression of his neck and compression of his chest while police physically restrained him during an arrest for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
“I assure the public that I am committed to conducting a fair, thorough and responsible investigation,” Donovan said.
Donovan's statement did not mention any individual officers that the investigation would focus on.
A video of the confrontation shows Pantaleo using what appears to be a chokehold to wrestle Garner, 43, to the ground.
Pat Lynch, president of police union the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said, “We are encouraged that this process is moving forward.
“We are confident that a fair and impartial grand jury that is allowed to conduct its deliberations based on facts and not emotion or political considerations will see that justice is served.”
Garner's death outraged many in the community. Rev. Al Sharpton had planned to lead a rally across the Verrazano-Narrows bridge to protest the killing, but scrapped the march after city leaders voiced concern over blocking Staten Island's only physical link to the rest of the city.
He now plans to caravan protestors Saturday to the Tompkinsville block where Garner died.