NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Harlem memorial service and Staten Island protest on Monday will mark three years since the death of Eric Garner.
Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died on July 17, 2014 on Staten Island as police tried to arrest him for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
“Three years has not deadened the pain but we can say a lot has been done in the last three years to ensure there will not be such tragedies in the future,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “His tragic death really focused this city and in some extent this nation on the work we have to do to bring police and community closer together.”
Officer Daniel Pantaleo is seen on a bystander’s cellphone video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold, which is banned under New York Police Department policy.
Garner told officers “I can’t breathe” as he was being arrested. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
The medical examiner later ruled the death a homicide caused in part by the chokehold.
Police union officials and Pantaleo’s lawyer argued the officer used a takedown move taught by the police department, not a chokehold, and said Garner’s poor health was the main reason he died.
A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.
The city settled with Garner’s estate for nearly $6 million.
Protesters held a demonstration at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to renew calls for charges against the officers involved.
The Justice Department is reviewing the case and federal authorities still haven’t decided whether to prosecute any of the officers.
One of Garner’s daughters planned to hold a memorial service in honor of her father at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem. The Rev. Al Sharpton was expected to attend.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)