By Elaine Magliaro
On Wednesday, the announcement was made that a Staten Island grand jury had declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who placed Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. According to reports, the city’s medical examiner ruled Garner’s death to be a homicide and “attributed it to the use of a chokehold.”
While protesters took to the streets in New York City, Congressman Peter King (R-NY) appeared on CNN. During his appearance on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, King defended the actions of the police in the killing of Eric Garner. King said that the officer, who used an illegal chokehold on Garner, “was just doing his job.” King even suggested that Garner was actually responsible for his own death. He said, “If he had not had asthma, and a heart condition, and was so obese, he would not have died from this.”
Inae Oh (Mother Jones):
Garner had repeatedly exclaimed “I can’t breathe” during the arrest, as seen in the video recorded by bystanders. Nevertheless, King questioned whether Garner had pleaded for help, telling Blitzer, “The fact is, if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk.” He added: “I have no doubt if that was a 350-pound white guy, he would have been treated the same.”
Judd Legum (Think Progress) said that King personally thanked the grand jury for not indicting the officer and “doing justice” on Twitter.