The city's medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide, determining that he died from "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." His weight and pre-existing medical conditions -- acute and chronic bronchial asthma and hypertensive cardiovascular disease -- also contributed to his death, the medical examiner's report stated.
The Department of Justice commenced a civil rights investigation after a grand jury on Staten Island declined to files charges against Pantaleo in December of that year. The DOJ has not yet brought civil charges, reportedly because some officials are hesitant about proceeding with the case.
"The DOJ has been shamefully slow to bring justice in the case of Eric Garner, while six NYPD police officers have remained on the city's payroll for a whole four years after brutally killing Eric," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network.
Garner's family agreed in 2015 to accept a $5.9 million settlement in connection with his death.