According to reports, the inquiry will not end with a verdict by a judge or jury and is seeking to gain more transparency in the events of the 2014 fatal incident. The process is expected to last two weeks and will focus on four main things regarding Garner's death:
- the force used to restrain Garner
- documents filed after the arrest
- alleged leaking of Garner's medical history and autopsy report
- allegations that officers on the scene didn't render medical care
Thirteen witnesses are set to testify in the inquiry, which is being presided over by Judge Erika Edwards. Among the witnesses are the NYPD's chief spokesperson, leader of the Internal Affairs Department, and president of the local police officers' union.
Judge Edwards also ordered the four officers and four sergeants who were directly involved with Garner's arrest to testify. Daniel Pantaleo, the former officer who actually placed Garner, 43, in the chokehold was not called as a witness. Pantaleo was fired from the NYPD in 2019 after a disciplinary proceeding, but never faced criminal charges.
Garner's mother, Gwen Carr told The New York Times, she's "been waiting" for this day.
"I've been waiting seven years, I need answers for this," Carr said. "What really happened that day?"
She added: "There's no justice for Eric because he's dead. For me, there only could be closure."
Testimony is set to begin Monday (October 25) at 9:30 a.m.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.