NOW is appalled by the Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to issue an indictment in the death of Eric Garner. Garner, an unarmed 43-year-old African American, was killed in July by a white police officer who placed Garner in an illegal choke hold. This is a grave miscarriage of justice which must not stand.
As demonstrations and protests are conducted throughout the city, NOW calls on police and authorities to exercise restraint and refrain from engaging in violence. Do not tear gas the peaceful protesters. Do not shoot them with rubber bullets. Do not advance on them with military-grade weaponry. We urge the New York City authorities to follow the law and respect the constitutional rights of demonstrators.
NOW also calls on the Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation of this case and of the larger issue of racial profiling and police brutality against people of color in New York City.
We extend our heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences to Eric Garner’s family. We pledge to work with our allies for justice, so that all who knew and loved Mr. Garner can find peace.