A civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner, the black man who was placed in an apparent chokehold by a white New York police officer, is to be launched by the US justice department.
The BBC reports that the inquiry was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder after a grand jury decided against charging the officer.
That decision prompted street protests in New York with activists calling for a march in Washington next week.
President Obama, who discussed the grand jury’s decision Wednesday with Attorney General Eric Holder said it underscores the need to strengthen the trust and accountability between communities and law enforcement, reported the Mail Online
Adding that the president even went so far as to concede that in some cases, despite much of society’s wish to believe otherwise, police racial bias does exist.
Obama says police have to deal with crime every day, but says they can do their jobs better if people have confidence in the law enforcement system.
‘In some cases those might be misperceptions,’ the president said while speaking to the White House Tribal Nations Conference. ‘But in some cases that’s a reality.’
Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died on July 17 after police officers tackled him and put him in a chokehold. The city’s medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and a New York City grand jury decided not to indict the officer.
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