President Barack Obama says the grand jury decision not to indict in the Eric Garner case ''speaks to the larger issues'' minorities in America have with law enforcement. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The President spoke out after a New York grand jury decided not to charge a police officer who killed an unarmed black man with a chokehold while trying to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes. The decision comes just a week and a half after a grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict a white police officer in another racially charged killing of a black man. Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died in a July 17 incident on Staten Island, New York City's smallest borough, after police officers tackled him and put him in a chokehold. The city's medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. The New York Police Department's patrol manual bans chokeholds, calling them dangerous. The deadly encounter was captured on a video that quickly spread over the Internet and helped fuel debates about how U.S. police use force, particularly against minorities. In ruling Garner's death a homicide, the city medical examiner said police officers killed him by compressing his neck and chest. His health problems, including asthma and obesity, were contributing factors, the medical examiner said. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the municipal police union, has maintained that the officers acted properly and within the scope of the law.