(NEW YORK, N.Y., 12/3/14) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today expressed dismay at the decision of a grand jury to not indict a white NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed African-American man, who died after being put in a chokehold.
During the July 17 incident, Garner, who was approached by police for peddling loose cigarettes, raised both hands in the air and asked officer not to touch him. A video shows officers place him in a chokehold and throw him to the sidewalk. While being held down by multiple officers, Garner said, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!"
The medical examiner reported that the cause of Garner's death was "compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." That examiner also said the manner of death was "homicide."
"Along with other New Yorkers, we are dismayed that the grand jury chose to not allow an open trial for an officer who allegedly took actions that resulted in the death of an unarmed person who posed no threat to anyone," said CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique. "This and other similar cases nationwide point to the urgent need for reforms in police procedures and training."
Khalique compared the case to that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio. In both cases, unarmed African-American males were killed by police.
CAIR-NY is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique, 914-266-2122, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com