NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement in response to the Department of Justice’s decision not to bring federal charges in the death of Eric Garner:
“The entire world saw the same devastating video five years ago, and our eyes did not lie. Today’s inaction reflects a DOJ that has turned its back on its fundamental mission – to seek and serve justice. In times like these, we must remember that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. In memory of Eric Garner and all others who have lost their lives unjustly, we will continue to fight for reforms to a criminal justice system that remains broken.”
In the wake of the death of Eric Garner, then-Public Advocate Letitia James led the charge for reforms to police accountability and criminal justice. She was the first elected official to call for the entire NYPD to be outfitted with body-worn cameras. Following her repeated actions and a report issued by her office, the NYPD implemented a full force body-worn camera program.
Additionally, she was the first elected official to call for the creation of a special prosecutor to be used in cases of police misconduct, which resulted in the Attorney General of New York being appointed to this role. She also filed a lawsuit to release the minutes of the Grand Jury proceeding to ensure full transparency.