Ocasio-Cortez calls decision not to charge NYPD officer in Eric Garner's death 'injustice'

Ocasio-Cortez calls decision not to charge NYPD officer in Eric Garner's death 'injustice'
© Getty Images

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHarris attends DC Pride rally Simmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives MORE (D) on Tuesday blasted federal prosecutors' decision not to charge a New York City police offer for killing Eric Garner in 2014, calling it an "injustice."

"This decision is an injustice. It is further proof we have a criminal justice system that grants some families justice, yet denies it to others," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

"My heart breaks for @RealGwenCarr, Eric’s mother. Let us follow her words & example, and work for a system where #BlackLivesMatter."

Democrats, including 2020 hopefuls Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSocially-distanced 'action figure' photo of G7 leaders goes viral Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Overnight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe press has its own border problem Meghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration I visited the border and the vice president should too MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerTeen who filmed Floyd murder awarded honorary Pulitzer Senate confirms first Muslim American federal judge Police reform negotiations enter crucial stretch MORE (D-N.J.), have also slammed prosectors' decision not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the case.


The officer was seen in video putting his arms around the neck of Garner, an unarmed black man, in an apparent headlock on July 17, 2014, while attempting to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes.

Garner was heard saying "I can't breathe" before he died, words that became a rallying cry for protests across the country demanding a change in use-of-force policies for police officers.

Pantaleo had denied the maneuver was a chokehold, which is prohibited under NYPD policy. 

The medical examiner had ruled that Garner's death was a homicide and later testified that the officer caused Gardner to have an asthma attack and that the apparent headlock was "part of the lethal cascade of events."

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, Richard Donoghue, said the evidence doesn't support charging Pantaleo with a federal civil rights violation. 

CNN later reported that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Garland sparks anger with willingness to side with Trump Trump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says MORE sided with prosecutors in New York over the Civil Rights Division in Washington amid concerns over whether prosecutors would be able to prove that Pantaleo acted willfully.

Garner was one of several unarmed black men whose deaths at the hands of police have energized the Black Lives matter movement and given rise to calls for police reforms.