Should Choke Hold Move Be Illegal For Police Officers?

Cop involved in chokehold death: No indictment for NYPD cop in case

According to sources, a grand jury has failed to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who caused the death of Eric Garner. In the wake of the decision in Ferguson, this marks the second time in under a month that a grand jury has failed to indict a police officer for conduct that has led to the death of an unarmed black man. Pantaleo was accused of using an illegal chokehold to restrain Garner, who was accused of illegally selling cigarettes on the streets of New York. The decision had the local community outraged, as many saw as proof positive that efforts to connect the community with police officers has failed.

The decision is decried as yet another example of minority citizens dying at the hands of police officers, and protestors have been out in force at events like the Rockefeller Tree Lighting. In fact, that incident went so far as to cause New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, to skip the annual event. While the protests were not unexpected, many do see the increased media and social attention as yet another sign that the country’s perception of law enforcement’s use of force is starting to trend towards the negative.

The case itself may not have made it past the grand jury, but Pantaleo’s story is far from over. A federal investigation is being made into the incident, as well as a probe by the NYPD. New York City is currently in the midst of a major overhaul in the way laws are enforced, bringing an end to its infamous stop and frisk policy, and beginning the process of implementing body cameras for on-duty police officers. Whether these changes will make a difference is hard to stay – for some, like Eric Garner, the changes may have already come far too late.

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