The death of Eric Garner has received national attention in recent weeks. A grand jury in Staten Island rendered the decision to not issue an indictment against the police officer whose actions allegedly caused Mr. Garner’s death. Specifically, the allegation is that Mr. Garner died due to being placed in a chokehold by the officer.
Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder stated that a criminal civil-rights investigation of the death would be launched by the Justice Department. Overseeing the probe will be U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. U.S. Attorney Lynch said that her office had been closely monitoring the case since the time of its occurrence in July. She added that the investigation is to be thorough and fair.
In October, a notice of claim was filed by Mr. Garner’s family. Attorneys have said that $75 million in damages is being sought by the family. They are alleging assault, wrongful death, negligent training and emotional distress.
While a federal investigation may shine some light on what truly transpired on that fateful day in July, the civil suit that the family has started may provide their best opportunity for legal satisfaction. This is because, in general, the required standard of proof is lower in civil cases.
The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how the legal process can offer different avenues in the pursuit of justice. The grand jury made its decision, as it was required to do. But that decision is not the end of the story as the family has chosen its own course of action.
If you suffer the loss of a loved one that you believe was due to the negligent or deliberate actions of another party, you may have cause to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. A Pennsylvania attorney may be able to provide investigative services to help you gather evidence in making your claim. The attorney may also advise and represent you throughout the legal process.
Source: Oneida Daily Dispatch, “Chokehold death: What happens next?,” Dec. 6, 2014