STATEMENT FROM JUSTICE LEAGUE NYC ON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION INTO THE KILLING OF ERIC GARNER
December 3, 2015 (New York, NY)--"We acknowledge those who express hesitancy toward our decision to escalate pressure on Mayor de Blasio today asking us to trust the process of the DOJ investigation. Movements toward justice require many strategies, players and tactics.
But let us be clear, just because we are young, does not mean we are naïve. The city of New York has stated publicly that it has the power to fire Officer Pantaleo, however, it chooses not to in light of the investigation.
It is completely rational for New Yorkers to have authentic concern and urgency around the lack of accountability this City has when police kill other people on our streets in broad daylight.
This is not new to us. All we have to do is look at what DOJ has not accomplished for Ramarley Graham and his dear mother Constance, who we love. It has been years and DOJ has delivered nothing. Are we supposed to wait years for Eric Garner as well? Pantaleo’s own lawyer stated the investigation could last five years. Is that the type of accountability we’re supposed to just sit back wait and let crumbs of change trickle down over time?
Simply—It does not take a year to investigate something the entire world watched.
Over the last year, it’s made clear that “investigation” is just a word used for law enforcement and elected officials to hide behind slug-paced complacency. The speed of investigations indicate the sincerity of law enforcement and elected officials to achieve justice.
Daniel Pantaleo doesn’t need to be paid by New York taxpayers for years while Mayor de Blasio opts to sit back and dismissively wait for DOJ’s investigation to unfold. Firing Daniel Pantaleo doesn’t impede the ability to investigate. Firing him is just a tiny gesture that the Mayor can do to demonstrate he is accountable to the people of our City, yet Mayor de Blasio made the deliberate choice not to. For us, this is neither the moral leadership nor the sound economic management that we demand of our Mayor. And that is why you’ll see us at Gracie tonight."
Justice League NYC
Reverend Adolphus Lacey, Bethany Baptist Church
Carmen Perez, Executive Director, The Gathering for Justice
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York
Tamika Mallory, Board Member of The Gathering for Justice
Members of the clergy