Eric Garner’s Family Responds to Grand Jury Decision and Officer’s Apology

By Catherine Yang
Catherine Yang
Catherine Yang
December 3, 2014 Updated: December 3, 2014

Wednesday night, after a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for the police custody death of Eric Garner, Garner’s family said they would bring the case to the federal level.

“I’m determined to get justice for my husband,” said Eric Garner’s wife Esaw Garner.

She and her children and Garner’s mother gathered with officials and Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem hours after the decision to announce plans to organize. On Saturday, Dec. 13, they hope to march with supporters in Washington.

“He shouldn’t have been killed in that way, he shouldn’t have been killed in any way,” Esaw Garner said. “He should be here celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving with his children and his grandchildren, but he can’t because a cop did wrong. Someone who’s supposed to do right did wrong, and he’s not held accountable for it.” 

Esaw Garner said she could not accept the officer’s condolences. 

“He’s still working, he’s still getting a paycheck, he’s still feeding his kids. And my husband is six feet under, and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now,” she said.

“But my husbands death will not be in vain. As long as I have a breath in my body I will fight the fight to the end.”

Garner’s mother Gwen Carr said she was “truly disappointed” by the grand jury’s decision

“I don’t know what video they were looking at. It wasn’t the same one the rest of the world was looking at,” Carr said. Her sentiments were echoed by many elected officials.

“We need your support but we need peace throughout the support,” Carr said. “Yeah we want you to rally, but rally in peace. Make a statement but make it in peace.”