The Department of Justice will not bring criminal charges against the New York City police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, citing insufficient evidence, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.
"Let me say as clear and equivocally as I can that Mr. Garner's death was a tragedy," Richard Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said at a news conference. "But these unassailable facts are separate and distinct from whether federal crime has been committed. And the evidence here does not support charging police Officer Daniel Pantaleo with a federal criminal civil rights violation."
Donoghue said none of the officers involved in Garner's death in 2014 on Staten Island, N.Y., would face charges. That decision, he said, is the result of a years-long and "exhaustive" investigation, reports NPR.
Pantaleo is still facing an internal disciplinary proceeding over whether he should be fired by the NYPD. The department had postponed the move out of deference to the Justice Department inquiry and said last summer that it planned to move ahead with its own proceedings in early September.
Since Garner's death almost five years ago, Pantaleo has been on desk duty in the New York Police Department.