Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

Eric Garner’s family wins bid for judicial review of his fatal arrest

Eric Garner’s mother and sister won their bid to force a judicial inquiry into claims that Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials violated and neglected their duties to fully investigate Garner’s fatal 2014 arrest, a judge ruled.

Garner’s family and others brought the case in June 2019 — a week after ex-cop Daniel Pantaleo was merely fired for using a chokehold on Garner during the July 2014 arrest — using a section of the City Charter that allows a judge to force city officials to testify when five “citizen-taxpayers” raise allegations of official misconduct.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden said the judicial inquiry could go forward into the stop and arrest of Garner and the force that cops — not including Pantaleo — used at the time.

Madden said the inquiry would also include the paperwork that officials filed on the arrest; the leaking of Garner’s arrest history, medical condition and autopsy report; and the alleged lack of medical care that Garner received by officers, according to her decision from last week.

Garner family lawyer Alvin Bragg told The Post, “The decision is a strong step toward much needed and long overdue transparency.

“The court decision compels the city to do what it should have done long ago.”

Law Department spokesman Nick Paolucci said the city plans to appeal Madden’s decision.

“There is no evidence that the Mayor or any other agency head or official neglected their duties or otherwise violated the law,” Paolucci said. “There is no legal basis for a judicial inquiry to second guess the decisions that the law vests in the Mayor and Police Commissioner.”

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