New York lawmakers want Attorney General Loretta Lynch to complete the Justice Department’s investigation into the chokehold death of Eric Garner before she leaves office.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and six other members of the New York congressional delegation sent a strongly worded letter to Lynch warning that the probe may “itself be suffocated and die” if left to her successor.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is currently undergoing Senate confirmation hearings to become President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general.
Eric Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
“This result is not only unacceptable for Mr. Garner and his family, but for all communities where the use of excessive force and overly aggressive policing tactics threaten life and liberty,” the letter argues.
The case involves the prosecution of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who avoided a criminal trial in Garner’s July 2014 death when a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict him. Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
The Daily News front page proclaims “We Can’t Breathe” after the grand jury declined to indict the cop in Eric Garner’s chokehold death.
(New York Daily News/New York Daily News)
“We’ve reached a point in time where the DOJ needs to either fish or cut bait,” Jeffries told the Daily News Wednesday.
Garner’s children, elected officials and community leaders have called for federal indictments against Pantaleo and the other officers involved. Lynch and the Washington-based DOJ grabbed the case from Brooklyn federal prosecutors and the FBI in October.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to requests for comment.