NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police officers were caught off guard Wednesday by the timing of the grand jury decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the Eric Garner case, and were left scrambling to mobilize, sources told CBS2.
Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died in July after police officers attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. On Wednesday, a grand jury declined to approve any charges against Pantaleo, the officer seen on video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold.
Sources told CBS2 police had a plan in place for security for the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, which was scheduled for Wednesday night. They also had a task force contingent waiting on standby on Staten Island, sources said.
But as of Wednesday morning, police had a mobilization plan that they intended to enact on Thursday, and were not prepared to mobilize Wednesday, sources said. The plan was to involve having the detective bureau put additional officers in uniform, sources said.
Police officials were meeting late Wednesday afternoon at One Police Plaza to draw up a citywide mobilization plan, sources said.
Detectives assigned to One Police Plaza were also asked to be on standby in uniform, and officers were looking around for batons and helmets as required for mobilization, sources said.
Sources said it had been so long since officers assigned to headquarters had been mobilized that they were having a hard time finding their equipment.
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