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Earlier in the week, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in Eric Garner's death. Sources claim that the panel may have come to this conclusion because the district attorney never asked them to consider lesser charges.
According to NBC New York, Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan didn't ask the grand jury to weigh reckless endangerment charges in Garner's fatal choking. Instead, they only considered possible charges for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Although it's unclear why Donovan arrived at this decision, the New York Daily News asserts that it's because it would've been more difficult to indict Pantaleo on the more serious charges:
Those charges are harder to get because they imply that the cop knew his actions could result in death or serious injury — and did them anyway.
Donovan explained his decision to remain silent on the matter in a statement:
I respect the court’s exercise of its discretion, and will abide by the court’s order. As such, I will have no further comment in connection with the grand jury proceedings relating to the matter of the investigation into the death of Eric Garner.