Police arrest 83 in protests over Garner case ruling in US

Dec 05, 2014, 09:42 IST | IANS

New York: Police arrested 83 people in connection with protests over a grand jury decision not indict a white police officer in the death of Eric Garner, an African-American.

"There were 83 arrests made last night, there were no injuries, there was no vandalism, there was no significant violence," New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton was quoted by Fox 5 television as saying.

Garner, 43, who was asthmatic, died July 17 from suffocation after officer Daniel Pantaleo placed an arm against his neck to apply a chokehold, in an attempt to arrest him for selling tobacco illegally, while he kept shouting that he could not breathe.

A medical examiner classified the death as a homicide and said the chokehold was a factor.

Protests erupted across the city after Wednesday's announcement that a grand jury in the borough of Staten Island decided not to charge Pantaleo.

The Staten Island decision came after a St. Louis County grand jury decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

That decision had sparked violent disturbances in Ferguson.

The US Department of Justice announced Wednesday that an investigation was under way to determine whether Garner's civil rights had been violated.

With the grand jury probe complete, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) plans to resume its internal investigation of Pantaleo's actions, Bratton said.

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