Mayor: Garner death is 'national moment of grief'

Mayor Bill de Blasio commented Wednesday on the decision not to charge the police officer involved in unarmed man Eric Garner's death.



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.



The mayor canceled an appearance at the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting and met with Garner's father and other community leaders. He held a press conference at a Staten Island church.



The mayor says that Garner's death and the decision not to indict officer Pantaleo is a "national moment of grief."



"There's a lot of pain and frustration in the room this evening," the mayor said. He called on protesters to remain peaceful.



Mayor de Blasio went on to promise that there will be a separate investigation from the NYPD. He also says there will be a federal investigation into Garner's death.



AP wire services contributed to this report.


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