Reactions To The Eric Garner Grand Jury Verdict Range From Angry To Heartbroken And Back Again

Well, the verdict is in, and Daniel Pantaleo is walking free. A Staten Island grand jury has ruled not to indict Pantaleo, who put Eric Garner in a chokehold when he suspected him of illegally selling cigarettes. Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, was an asthmatic. Video footage from the incident showed Garner repeatedly telling Pantaleo he could not breathe before his death. The case has gripped the U.S. in a similar fashion to the Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin cases for its alleged racial implications, and strong reactions to the verdict will be plentiful, to say the very least.

The momentum surrounding fatal interactions between cops and African-Americans has been at an all-time high following the Brown grand jury verdict, which let Darren Wilson walk free on November 21 after he fatally shot Mike Brown — an unarmed African-American teenager accused of robbing a convenience store. Riots across the country have persisted since then and may continue or increase in light of this new verdict.

It is hard to see how this verdict will do anything other than give Ferguson, Missouri protestors more motivation to continue their protests — some of which have received sharp criticisms over looting and burning down buildings. As always, social media is serving as a mouthpiece for those expressing their feelings about the verdict on both sides, using the hashtags #noindictment, #blacklivesmatter, and #ericgarner.