NYPD officer cleared in death of unarmed man

A white New York City police officer was cleared Wednesday in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes - a case that sparked outrage and drew comparisons to the deadly police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.



Eric Garner died during an arrest back in July for suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. The incident was caught on cellphone video that quickly went viral, sparking protests around the city.



Officer Daniel Pantaleo was accused of putting 43-year-old Garner in an apparent chokehold, a move that is banned by the police department. The medical examiner ruled that the forceful act contributed to Garner's death.



Protesters gathered at the spot where Garner was initially arrested in Staten Island on Wednesday. Some were chanting, "I can't breathe," which were some of Garner's last words.



Some Staten Island businesses closed up shop early Wednesday as a precaution, though the protesters were mostly peaceful.



AP wire services contributed to this report.


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