The district attorney who oversaw the investigation into the police-involved death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., announced Friday that he would run for the congressional seat vacated by Michael G. Grimm, who pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion.
Richmond County Dist. Atty. Daniel Donovan Jr. said he decided to enter the race after noticing a groundswell of support for his candidacy over the last week.
New York's 11th Congressional District would appear tailor-made for the Republican prosecutor; Staten Island is a conservative borough that is home to many police officers and firefighters.
But Donovan also has been on the receiving end of nationwide criticism for his handling of the Garner case. In November, a grand jury declined to indict New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo after he used what appeared to be a chokehold, a prohibited police tactic, to subdue Garner during an arrest in July.
Medical examiners ruled Garner's death a homicide and called the officer's actions a major factor.
Beyond aggravation with the grand jury's decision, many have criticized Donovan for releasing little information about the grand jury proceedings.
In New York, only district attorneys or prosecutors can request a release of grand jury information. Donovan requested, and was granted permission, to release only the number of witnesses who testified and the type of evidence they reviewed.
He did not ask for a release of witness transcripts, surveillance video or autopsy reports, a stark contrast to St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch's decision to release all the evidence presented to a grand jury that considered charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown.