Added: Janitza Occhipinti - Date: 11.05.2022 08:20 - Views: 45751 - Clicks: 3065
By David IngramMica Rosenberg. NEW YORK Reuters - A grand jury decision not to indict a New York policeman over a fatal chokehold underscores how difficult it is to charge an officer in the United States, even when the tactic appears to contradict police department policy and is caught on video.
Grand juries generally operate in secret. It was not known even what charges this one considered bringing against Pantaleo, although lawyers not connected to the case said the potential counts likely included manslaughter, at least.
It is rare for potential defendants to testify in grand jury proceedings but prosecutors have discretion deciding which witnesses to call and can choose to put a police officer accused of misconduct on the stand. The decision not to indict echoed a similar finding last month by a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, which declined to indict a police officer, Darren Wilson, in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
The officers in both cases were white, while both men they killed were unarmed African Americans, fueling nationwide protests over race relations and excessive police force. He and other officers tackled Garner, a year-old father of six, on a sidewalk on July 17, and Pantaleo put Garner in a chokehold. Garner died shortly afterward. The term does not imply intent, a key legal factor. Convicting someone of the most serious charges, such as murder, generally requires proving intent to commit a crime.
Less serious charges might require proving only criminal negligence or recklessness.
Pantaleo might be held legally responsible in other ways. The U. Police have yet to say whether they will take any disciplinary action.
Supreme Court laid out a standard for when police may use excessive force inin a civil lawsuit about a diabetic man who said he was injured during a roide stop. The court ruled the amount of force must be reasonable under the circumstances, such as whether a suspect resists arrest, but it also said reasonableness should be judged from the perspective of an officer on the scene, not from hindsight. He added that prosecutors have incentives not to antagonize police officers and their unions, because they work with police officers daily on cases and because state prosecutors in the United States generally must stand for election.
Sometimes prosecutors bring charges and then lose police-violence cases at trial. In one case from the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, a jury in December acquitted a New Orleans police officer whom prosecutors accused of shooting a man in the back as the man ran away.
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