A Staten Island grand jury may have decided not to indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner today, but that doesn't mean the case is going away, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a news conference tonight.
"All lives must be valued, all lives," Holder said, after announcing that the Justice Department was opening a federal civil rights investigation into Garner's death after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold banned by the department.
"Mr. Garner's death is one of several recent incidents across our great country that have tested the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they are charged to serve and protect. This is not a New York issue nor a Ferguson issue alone," Holder said.
Holder said he'd already spoken with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, President Barack Obama and Eric Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, to inform them of the investigation.
In addition to that civil rights investigation, Holder said there would be a complete federal review of how the local investigation of Garner's death was handled by authorities in New York.