AG Barr Revisits Eric Garner's Death ⚖️

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Recapping the 2014 events

In 2014, Daniel Pantaleo, a Staten Island police officer, attempted to arrest an unarmed black man, Eric Garner, for illegally selling cigarettes. The confrontation, caught on camera, resulted in Pantaleo placing Garner in what appeared to be a chokehold, and Garner can be heard repeating “I can’t breathe” before dying. A grand jury later declined to indict Pantaleo

Five years later

Following this decision, the DOJ launched a probe into Pantaleo, and the city reached a $5.9 million settlement with the Garner family. The day before the fifth anniversary of Garner’s death, Attorney General William Barr made the decision to not bring any federal charges against Pantaleo and other officers involved in Garner’s death. 


Breitbart: No Federal Charges Against Officers Involved in Eric Garner’s Death

Fox News: In Eric Garner Case, Justice Department Declines Civil Rights Charges Against New York City Police Officer

The right describes the case without much editorializing, instead working to remove the blame often placed on Pantaleo. By employing rhetoric that minimizes the officer’s involvement, conservative outlets report on the case without significant mention of the opposition to the decision vocalized across New York. 


NY Post: Justice Department Won’t Bring Charges Against NYPD Cop In Eric Garner’s Chokehold Death

CNN: Barr Sides Against Civil Rights Officials in Declining to Bring Charges Against NYPD Officer in Garner Case

The left reports on the case as an example of police brutality, using terms that are more specific to the circumstances of Garner’s death. Further, left-leaning outlets emphasize AG Barr’s role in determining the outcome of the case, and they criticize the timing of the announcement as a “major miscarriage of justice.”  

Where's the common ground?

The case has been contentious both inside and outside of the DOJ. As the dispute between prosecutors—regarding whether or not Pantaleo acted willfully—resulted in AG Barr making the final decision, further division in the matter was created between the two sides.

In summary:



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