Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) called the New York grand jury's decision to not indict the white police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner a "terrible setback."

"It's a terrible setback anytime a human being is killed ... and the grand jury doesn't give any report to let us know what was the basis of their finding," he told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview to air Sunday on New York's 970 AM.

Given the recent outrage over cases of police brutality against black men, Rangel, a former New York prosecutor, said the nation needs to "recognize we do have racism in this great country," which will increase conflict until it's acknowledged.

Asked if the Department of Justice is best equipped to launch a civil rights investigation into the controversial case, Rangel agreed.

Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee to replace General Eric Holder, will lead the probe as the current U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

A Staten Island grand jury on Wednesday cleared officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Garner, who was audibly heared saying, “I can’t breathe” during the physical arrest.

Rangel noted the "extraordinary working relationship" between police and district attorneys, saying it "makes sense" for the state and not the county to lead investigations into crimes committed by police officers.

"They need each other for convictions," explained the Harlem lawmaker whose base of support is in the predominantly black district.

He also said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son -- who is half white -- “is just as vulnerable as any other young black kid.”

Asked how the New York police force is handling the influx of protests erupting across the city, Rangel praised the officers but called for an end of police fraternization.

“Our biggest problem is not the handful of psychopaths that we find getting out of control, but the good cops who refuse to knock down that blue wall of silence."