Law enforcement officials confirmed that D.C. federal prosecutors plan to seek charges against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for the 2014 death of Staten Island native Eric Garner.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced they would replace the New York team responsible for investigating Garner’s death. This occurred after the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department disagreed with New York FBI agents and attorneys’ refusal to bring forth charges.
Washington, D.C., prosecutors believe that NY officials were too close to the case, which resulted in the severe delay in the investigation.
After Garner’s death, officer Pantaleo testified before a state grand jury on Staten Island in December 2014. Based on his testimony, the state jury decided not to press any charges against the officer. Charges against officers using excessive force are rarely brought about, thus the federal prosecutors will more than likely face several obstacles to make sure this case goes to trial.
It has not yet been determined whether civil rights prosecutors from Washington will work alone when presenting evidence to a Brooklyn grand jury or if they will be assisted.