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Judge Rules Mayor De Blasio, Former NYPD Commissioner Will Not Have To Take Stand In Inquiry Into Eric Garner's Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A judge ruled Friday Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Police Commissioner James O'Neill will not have to testify in court, but may provide sworn affidavits, for discovery in an inquiry into allegations of neglect around Eric Garner's death in 2014.

Other high-level officials and NYPD officers will be made to testify, including the police department's deputy commissioners for public information and internal affairs, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported.

The city will have to turn over extensive documents, recordings and information related to disciplinary investigations of the officers involved, medical attention provided to Garner and use of force.

In all, the court ordered 12 police officers and officials to testify, as well the officers' union president Pat Lynch.

The judge denied the request for Mayor de Blasio and O'Neill to testify, instead ruling they may have to provide sworn affidavits.

"The inquiry is about what happened at the scene, and the court's going to determine who needs to be a part of that discussion. But it is not, in the eyes of the court, about people who were not there, had nothing to do with the moment," Mayor de Blasio said on "The Brian Lehrer Show" before the decision was announced.

Garner's mother Gwen Carr, other family members and representatives from several organizations wanted the mayor and former commissioner to testify.

Carr released a statement expressing her disappointment. She said, in part:

It's been 7 years since Eric was murdered, and in spite of what Mayor de Blasio has said to me personally or to New Yorkers, he and other top city officials are still blocking transparency but now this court has ordered them to finally turn over information.

I'm disappointed that the court hasn't said that they will force the Mayor and NYPD Commissioner to take the stand, but it's good that they're telling the City they need to turn over most of our discovery requests...

Mayor de Blasio and others should be made to provide the answers my family has been demanding for years and me and my supporters will keep fighting for the firing of all officers who did wrong...

Carr's son was killed when a police officer used an unauthorized chokehold during an arrest in Staten Island. Last weekend marked seven years since his death.

The judicial inquiry into the fatal arrest of Garner is scheduled to begin in October.

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