The widow of Eric Garner, the black New York man who died after a white police officer put him in a chokehold, said in a press conference on Wednesday night she will not accept condolences from the officer.
“Hell no!” Esaw Garner said when asked about a statement, which stopped short of an apology, that was released by the officer on Wednesday night.
“The time for remorse would have been when my husband was yelling to breathe,” she said. Her comments came after a grand jury decided Wednesday not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death.
“That would’ve been the time for him to show some type of remorse, or some type of care for another human being’s life,” she said, to applause from the room.
In July, Pantaleo put Garner, 43, in a choke hold as the man yelled he could not breathe. The confrontation, captured on video, began after Garner was allegedly caught selling loose cigarettes.
Pantaleo, who was suspended by the NYPD after Garner’s death, issued a statement Wednesday following the grand jury’s verdict.
“It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner,” the statement read. “My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
Garner’s widow rejected it in full.
“There’s nothing that him or his prayers or anything else that would make me feel any different,” she said.
She concluded: “He should be here celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving and everything else with his children and grandchildren.”
“And he can’t. Why? Because a cop did wrong.”
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