Speaker Mark-Viverito:

“This was a terribly disappointing outcome and is not reflective of the events that led to Eric Garner’s death. What makes this even more infuriating is the frequent lack of accountability, which is why I urge the U.S. Department of Justice to launch its own investigation.

The use of excessive and lethal police force against people of color is a persistent problem nationwide and we must recommit ourselves to building a more just city and society where all people, regardless of color, are treated equally by law enforcement. Locally, Commissioner Bratton must expedite the retraining of NYPD officers – the vast majority of whom serve our communities honorably and bravely – so we can ensure that incidents like the one that led to Eric Garner’s death never occur again.

During this painful time, it is imperative that New Yorkers come together rather than allow frustration and anger to boil over and divide us. The Garner family has asked that any demonstrations be peaceful and everyone should respect that call. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Eric Garner. My fellow Council Members and I remain committed to fostering healing in our communities.”

New York City Council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus:

“The New York City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus stands united today to denounce the Grand Jury’s failure to hold New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo accountable for the death of Eric Garner.

The death of Eric Garner by an illegal chokehold is only one example of unwarranted practices and the use of excessive force exercised by some NYPD officers.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Garner family who now join the ranks of the families of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and Mike Brown who have not only tragically lost a son, husband and father, but have now been denied justice.

We are outraged that the Grand Jury failed to indict Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. The failure to recognize that black and brown lives matter is evident throughout all five boroughs, as New York’s communities of color suffer the brutality of hyper-aggressive policing and are too often denied meaningful accountability of officers who to choose to use excessive and deadly force.

We demand accountability for officers who use excessive and deadly force in communities of color throughout our city.”

New York City Council Progressive Caucus:

“Members of the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council are extremely disheartened by the outcome in the case of Eric Garner. The grand jury decision to no indict the officer responsible for his death is a disappointing one. Members feel that a major injustice has been committed and that the challenges regarding police and community relations is one in dire need of solutions. Council Members agree that the result in the case of Eric Garner’s death is another racial injustice stemming from systemic problems including institutionalized discrimination, hostile relations with public safety agents and failed police accountability.”