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-CortezLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Trump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' 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 SandersLongtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary Hillicon Valley: NSA warns of new security threats | Teen accused of Twitter hack pleads not guilty | Experts warn of mail-in voting misinformation Schiff, Khanna call for free masks for all Americans in coronavirus aid package MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisMichelle Obama supporters urge Biden to pick former first lady as running mate Michelle Obama wishes Barack a happy birthday: 'My favorite guy' Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency OVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA rule extends life of toxic coal ash ponds | Flint class action suit against Mich. officials can proceed, court rules | Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill Senate Democrats introduce environmental justice bill MORE (D-N.J.), have also slammed prosectors' decision not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the case.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BarrTrump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Trump stokes conspiracy about Epstein death, stands by wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell Democrats' silence on our summer of violence is a tactical blunder 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.