By Juan Soto
U.S. Rep Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) urged the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the death of Eric Garner, the New York City man who lost his life in a police chokehold.
Meeks is one of the six New York Democrats who want U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to look into the case.
Garner, 43, died when he was being arrested allegedly for a minor offense July 17 on a street in Staten Island. He could be heard on tape saying, “I can’t breathe” as he was placed in the fatal chokehold.
The congressional delegation sent a letter to Holder Aug. 11. Besides Meeks, the letter was also signed by Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn), Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn), Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan) and Jose Serrano (D-Bronx).
The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide.
Two of the police officers involved in the case were reassigned pending the results of the investigation.
On Aug. 19, Daniel Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney, said he will convene a grand jury to investigate the death of Garner.
Councilman Ruben Willis (D-Jamaica) applauded the decision.
“It is unfortunate racism is still so prevalent in New York City”, said Wills. “Donavan’s decision to assemble a grand jury to investigate the death of Eric Garner is a step in the right direction.”
Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.