News   /   Human Rights

Eric Garner case settled for $5.9 million

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Eric Garner and his wife, Esaw, are seen during a family vacation in 2011. (NY Times)

The family of Eric Garner, an African American killed in the hands of US police, have accepted $5.9 million to resolve the claim over the killing of the unarmed man.

New York City reached the settlement with the family on Monday, their lawyer said.

Garner, a 43-year-old African American, died after being placed in the chokehold by Daniel Pantaleo on Staten Island on July 17, 2014.

“The City of New York has agreed to pay $5.9 million to resolve the Garner case,” said Jonathan C. Moore.

According to the New York Times, the move by the city comptroller, Scott C. Stringer, is part of a strategy to “settle major civil rights claims even before a lawsuit is filed”.

Last year, Garner’s relatives, including his widow, Esaw Garner, and his mother, Gwen Carr, had filed a notice of claim, seeking $75 million in damages.

The city had until the anniversary of the death, Friday, to come to an agreement.

Although the city medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo, who placed him in a chokehold.

The Garners are expected to lead a demonstration outside the Brooklyn offices of the United States in an effort to bring a federal case against the officers involved in the arrest that led to the 43-year-old’s death.

“This is not about people getting money,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, who would also take part in the demo. “This is about justice. We’ve got to restructure our police departments and how we deal with policing nationwide.”

Shortly before the settlement was announced, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “I think it’s on the mind of many New Yorkers, and we, you know, mourn the death of Eric Garner."

Thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters disrupt holiday shoppers on December 20, 2014 at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.  (AFP)

Followed by Michael Brown’s similar death, Garner’s gave momentum to the Black Live Matter movement, slamming racial profiling of minorities and American police brutality.

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