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Eric Garner family to press for federal charges against NYPD cop at rally

Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother, says during a

Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother, says during a news conference in Manhattan on July 14, 2015, that she wants the NYPD officer's arrest and conviction after the city government's $5.9 million legal settlement for his death. Photo Credit: Uli Seit

The family of Eric Garner is planning to join a rally Saturday afternoon to demand that federal prosecutors pursue a criminal case against the NYPD officer who put Garner in an apparent fatal chokehold.

The protest outside the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn is part of a week of memorials and activism to commemorate the anniversary of the Staten Islander's death on July 17, 2014. Garner died during an arrest on suspicion of peddling untaxed cigarettes.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who started leading protests in the days afterward, told Newsday Friday that the Garner family has twice met with federal prosecutors, most recently two or three months ago.

"We hope to show a year later that we are still organized and moving towards justice in the case," Sharpton said. "We're calling on the Justice Department to deal with the promised investigation and come through with the results."

Sharpton said that federal prosecutors have not hinted how they'll decide the case. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, Nellin McIntosh, did not return a message seeking comment.

Gwen Carr, Garner's mother, his children and widow, Esaw Garner, are planning to attend, Sharpton said.

Also expected to join are the families of Michael Brown, who was shot dead last year during a confrontation with a police officer, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri, and Trayvon Martin, the black 17-year-old fatally shot in Sanford, Florida, in 2012 during an altercation with neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who was later acquitted of murder.

A Staten Island grand jury, led by the borough's then-district attorney, declined to indict the police officer who put his arm around Garner's neck. The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, remains on the force but on desk duty.

Pantaleo lawyer Stuart London did not return a message seeking comment.


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