Judge Nap: NYPD Officer Will Face Federal Charge Over Garner's Death
Protests erupted last night after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with the chokehold death of an unarmed man earlier this year.
Eric Garner, a black 43-year-old man who was stopped on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes, died as a result of the July 17 encounter.
In the disturbing arrest video, taken with a cell phone camera, Garner can he heard saying "I can't breathe" 11 times.
Judge Andrew Napolitano said after the decision was announced, that he believes - based on what he saw on the video - that the officer should have been charged with a crime.
He weighed in further this morning, saying he has now seen more information on what was presented to the grand jury.
Napolitano emphasized that this encounter was not similar to what happened in Ferguson because Garner was not threatening the cops.
He noted that Garner's crime - selling loose cigarettes on the street - was basically the equivalent of jaywalking.
"They basically should have said 'get out of here.' There's no reason to arrest somebody who's selling cigarettes to homeless people," the judge said.
Napolitano predicts that the Justice Department's civil rights investigation will produce an indictment against Pantaleo for "using deadly force" in a case where it was unnecessary.
He concluded by saying an indictment and trial in state court would have been better for the "concept of justice," the officer and the NYPD.