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Eric Garner grand jury: Judge releases limited details regarding evidence

NEW YORK -- A New York City judge has released limited details of the grand jury proceeding in the Eric Garner case, including that four videos were shown and 50 witnesses were heard.

Judge Stephen Rooney released the material Thursday after Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan asked if he could speak on the secret proceeding.

The grand jury cleared Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, who is black. The decision sparked demonstrations around the city and the nation.

The jury sat for nine weeks. It heard testimony from 22 civilian witnesses and 28 others, including police officers, emergency medical personnel and doctors.

There also were 60 exhibits admitted into evidence. They included four videos, NYPD records and autopsy information.

Donovan didn't seek the release of transcripts, testimony or exhibits. At present, this is the only information about the grand jury proceedings expected to be released.

Last month, prosecutors in St. Louis released reams of evidence in the Michael Brown case. However, that was a voluntary decision by Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch to do so.

After the judge's order, Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. issued a statement that he was authorized to release only the information in the judge's order. He said he would have no further comment on the Garner grand jury proceedings.

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