Protests erupt over decision in chokehold death
More than 80 people have been arrested as frustrated protesters continue their call for justice in the apparent chokehold death of a Staten Island husband and father.
Demonstrators stormed the city after learning that a grand jury decided not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo on criminal charges in the death of Eric Garner. He was caught on cellphone video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold during an arrest back in July, a move that the medical examiner said contributed to his death.
Pantaleo released a statement saying in part, "I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can't protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone." He added that he hopes the Garner family will accept his personal condolences for their loss; however, Garner's widow said she doesn't accept the apology.
Rev. Al Sharpton and other members of the National Action Network publicly discussed ways to achieve justice, promising that 2015 will be a year of change. They said they'll push for criminal justice reform, calling the grand jury process flawed.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will proceed with a federal civil rights investigation now that the local investigation has ended.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are also urging protesters to stay calm, saying they shouldn't slander Garner's name with vandalism.