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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Decision of the Grand Jury in the Killing of Eric Garner

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the decision by the grand jury investigating the killing of Eric Garner to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who used a chokehold to restrain him.

“The failure of the grand jury to issue an indictment in the killing of Eric Garner defies comprehension. Eric Garner, a father of six children , was killed when a police officer applied a chokehold, a tactic derived from the martial arts, intended to suffocate the victim. The chokehold has been prohibited under police department regulations for more than twenty years. Indeed, the medical examiner ruled that the death of Eric Garner was a homicide,” said Congresswoman Clarke, who has asked the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation of the killing.

“We will not accept the continued devaluation of the lives of men and women who are African-American. After the killing of Michael Brown, in which the grand jury refused to indict the police officer responsible, the killing of Akai Gurley by a police officer in East New York, and similar incidents in every part of our nation, the time has arrived for us to demand reforms to law enforcement practices that are deadly for people of color.” 

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.