Federal prosecutors recommend charges for cop involved in chokehold of Eric Garner

Mourners stop to pray at the memorial site for Eric Garner in Staten Island on July 17, 2015, on the anniversary of his death.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Federal civil prosecutors have recommended to top Justice Department officials that the police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner face charges.

The New York Times reported Friday that the recommendation to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, has reached the desk of Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein, but no decision has been made on whether to move forward with the case.

Rosenstein has held meetings with high-level DOJ officials to determine whether a criminal case against Pantaleo could be won, the Times said.


Garner died in 2014 when Pantaleo and other officers stopped him over accusations he was selling untaxed cigarettes.

Pantaleo placed him in the chokehold after police said he resisted arrest.

Video of the incident showed Garner repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe,” before his death.

Federal civil rights prosecutors have been investigating the death since that time — with members of Garner’s family complaining that they had been dragging their feet in reaching a decision.