Garner's Wife on No Indictment: I Expected It - NBC 7 San Diego
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Garner's Wife on No Indictment: I Expected It

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Garner Family Reacts to Grand Jury Decision to Not Indict

    Eric Garner's wife and mother tell NBC News they're angry, disappointed and frustrated by the grand jury's decision not to indict in the police chokehold death of Garner -- but they're not altogether surprised. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014)

    Eric Garner's relatives say they feel "anger" and "frustration" after a grand jury on Staten Island voted not to indict the NYPD officer caught on video wrapping his arm around Garner's neck before he died in a confrontation with police over the summer.

    Garner's wife and his mother told NBC News they were devastated but not altogether surprised by the grand jury's decision.

    "I kind of expected it because I didn't really think that he would get a fair trial on Staten Island from day one," said Garner's wife, Esaw Garner on Wednesday. "I felt it in my heart that he just wasn't going to get a fair trial, with all the things that they were trying to crucify him with." 

    "Regardless to his past, he didn't deserve to be killed like that," she said.

    Esaw Garner and Gwen Carr, Garner's mother, said they thought the video showing Garner being taken down by NYPD officers was indisputable proof of wrongdoing. 

    "There's no doubt in my mind or the mind of all the people out there in the world that what we saw in that video cannot be disputed," said Garner. "How they disputed it, I don't know." 

    "It was a modern-day lynching," she said. 

    Asked how she felt about NYPD officer Daniel Panataleo's statement offering his condolences to the family, Esaw Garner said she did not accept them. 

    "The time for condolence would have been when my husband was gasping for air, asking them to let him breathe, begging for his life," she said. "That would have been the time to have some compassion and remorse and condolence."

    Thursday morning, she was interviewed again on NBC's "Today" with the Rev. Al Sharpton and said that upon hearing the grand jury's decision she "started bawling." Garner told "Today" she had no faith in prosecutors in Staten Island, who she said showed "no sincerity from day one."

    Garner and Carr said they were hopeful a federal investigation would yield a different result.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday the Justice Department will now be conducting its own investigation into Garner's death.

    At a news conference with the Garner family later in the evening, Sharpton said the family will be helping to lead a national march in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 13. Sharpton runs the National Action Network and is also a talk-show host on MSNBC, which is owned by NBC 4 New York parent company NBCUniversal.

    Esaw Garner said at the news conference, "I'm determined to get justice for my husband."

    "Someone who gets paid to do right did wrong, and he's not held accountable for it," she said.

    "My husband's death will not be in vain," she said. "As long as I have a breath in my body, I will fight the fight until the very end."