Eric Garner’s Family Awarded $5.9 Million By NYC, But The Fight For Justice Continues.
As of yesterday (July 13), the family of Eric Garner has reached a settlement with New York City. The family and attorneys will receive $5.9 million, according to The New York Times. The wrongful death settlement closes nearly one year to the day following the July 17, 2014 death of Garner, a 43 year-old Staten Island man, choked to death by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. The fatality came following Garner illegally selling cigarettes in Staten Island, when he was apprehended forcefully by Pantaleo and Garner’s family, led by his widow, Esaw Garner and mother Gwen Carr, had given the city until the anniversary before filing a formal lawsuit.
In October 2014, when the original notice of a desired settlement was filed, Garner’s survivors stated that the lawsuit would seek $75 million. “[Eric] Garner’s death is a touchstone in our city’s history and in the history of the entire nation,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, told the Times. “Financial compensation is certainly not everything, and it can’t bring Mr. Garner back. But it is our way of creating balance and giving a family a certain closure.”
A certain closure may be subjective. Garner’s family is still seeking a federal prosecution of Officer Justin Damico (who first approached Eric) and Pantaleo, who applied the fatal choke-hold. A rally is planned for Saturday (July 18) outside the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York offices in Brooklyn, New York.
“Don’t congratulate us; this is not a victory,” Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said in a press conference today (July 14). “The victory will come when we get justice.”
Jewel Miller, Garner’s companion, and mother of his youngest daughter, told The New York Times, “It’s a buyout without justice,” she said. “They pay us out without the justice. Where’s the justice at?”
Related: Mick Jenkins Releases the Explosive 11 in Response to Eric Garner’s Death (Audio)