We told you earlier today that a grand jury in Staten Island decided not to press charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo for fatally choking Eric Garner to death, even though the incident was caught on video. After the news came out, Officer Pantaleo decided to issue a statement offering his condolences to the family of Garner:
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 and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.
A little too late for all that.
At a press conference this evening with Rev. Al Sharpton, Eric Garner’s widow, Esaw, had this to say about the jury’s ruling:
“I want to thank everybody for their support, their continued support. As Reverend said, this fight ain’t over, it’s just begun. I’m determined to get justice for my husband because he shouldn’t have been killed in that way. He shouldn’t have been killed in any way. He should be here to celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving and everything else with his children and his grandchildren. And he can’t. Why? Because a cop did wrong. Somebody who gets paid to do right did wrong and he’s not held accountable for it. But my husband’s death will not be in vain. As long as I have a breath in my body I will fight the fight to the end.”
And when asked if she thinks she could ever accept Pantaleo’s apology, she made it clear that that’s not happening:
“Hell. No. The time for remorse should have been when my husband was yelling to breathe. That would have been the time for him to show some type of remorse or some time of care for another human being’s life. When he was screaming 11 times that he can’t breathe! So there is nothing that him, or his prayers or anything else would make me feel any different. No, I don’t accept his apology. No, I could care less about his condolences. He’s still working. He’s still getting a paycheck. He’s still feeding his kids and my husband is six feet under and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now. Who’s going to play Santa Claus for my grandkids now?”
Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric, also had the chance to speak. She questioned how the grand jury could decide not to indict Officer Pantaleo after watching the video of his death.
“I am truly disappointed in the grand jury’s decision this evening. I don’t know what video they were looking at, it wasn’t the same one that the rest of the world was looking at. How could we put our trust in the justice system when they fail us like this?”