More than two years after New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo choked Eric Garner to death, the country’s Department of Justice announced that it would replace the team of New York agents and attorneys investigating Garner’s killing.
Citing the statements of several anonymous federal officials, The New York Times reported yesterday (October 24) that the Justice Department replaced FBI agents investigating Garner’s death with outside agents over the past few weeks. The federal case into whether or not Pantaleo and other involved officers violated Garner’s civil rights stalled because of a dispute between New York-based FBI officials and prosecutors, who opposed bringing charges, and officials from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, who believed evidence compelled charges. The dispute focused on the infamous video of Garner’s death, with each side arguing that the video confirmed their point.
The Times reported that Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who earlier oversaw the federal investigation as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, considered the decision for months. Neither the Justice Department nor the FBI commented on the story.