Eric Garner's Family Has Reached Settlement With New York City, Will Receive $5.9 Million — REPORT
Just days before the deadline to file suit, the family of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old man killed by police last July on Staten Island, has reached a settlement with New York City, in which the city will pay $5.9 million to the family, according to The New York Times.
The Garner family's lawyer said that the city had until Friday to come to an agreement with the family. Friday is the anniversary of Garner's death, which an autopsy report accredited to the police officers' use of force. Garner was suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes when police officers placed him in a chokehold and wrestled him to the ground.
In October, the Garner family filed a notice of claim, announcing its intention to sue the city of New York for $75 million. According to the Times, city comptroller Scott M. Stringer has tried lately to encourage the city to settle civil rights lawsuits out of court, before a costly trial ensues. In this case, the city avoided a lengthy trial, as well as the potential of paying the Garner family's requested damages, which were far higher than $5.9 million. This settlement comes shortly after other reports that the family rejected a $5 million settlement.
On Sunday, the New York Daily News reported that "a $5 million settlement won't satisfy the heartbroken family of Eric Garner." According to the report, a source familiar with the then-ongoing negotiations said that the family turned down the city's offer.
Despite the settlement, no officers have faced charges for Garner's death. In December, a grand jury declined to indict New York Police Department Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner in the chokehold that contributed to his death. In consideration of the case, the grand jury found no probable cause to assert that a crime had been committed in Garner's arrest. Massive protests ensued around New York City, popularizing Garner's now-famous outcry, "I can't breathe." What's more, the Times also reports that the NYPD has concluded an internal investigation but has not announced if any officers will be disciplined for Garner's death. Pantaleo has been on desk duty since the incident and has NYPD security 24/7 to fend off the death threats that he's received. On Saturday, the Daily News reported that despite the chaos his actions have caused, he's eager to get back on the streets and back to his old job.
On Saturday, Garner's family will likely lead a rally outside the Brooklyn office of the United States attorney, along with Rev. Al Sharpton. The rally will commemorate the first anniversary of Garner's death and call for a federal case to be opened.