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Eric Garner's Family Pushing For Mayor De Blasio, Former NYPD Commissioner O'Neill To Testify On How NYC Handled 2014 Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Manhattan Supreme Court judge said Monday that a judicial inquiry into the fatal arrest of Eric Garner will begin this October.

It means all first responders who were present should expect to testify, and possibly even the mayor and former police commissioner, CBS2's Lisa Rozner reported.

This past weekend marked seven years since Garner's death.

"We're still fighting. We still don't have the answers that we need," said Gwen Carr, Garner's mother.

But some answers could be coming soon. On Monday, the judge decided there will be an inquiry into how the city handled Garner's death.

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Garner died on July 17, 2014 when then-Officer Daniel Pantaleo used an unauthorized chokehold on Garner on Bay Street on Staten Island.

Pantaleo was later fired by the NYPD.

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"There were so many other officers involved in my son's death that day and those officers need to stand accountable," Carr said.

By Friday, Justice Erika Edwards will decide what evidence she'll permit and who she'll let testify in the case, which is scheduled for Oct. 25.

The plaintiffs, which include Garner's family and four other petitioners from different organizations, want Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Police Commissioner James O'Neill to testify.

"I think that we would learn a lot because de Blasio was one of the first people to speak up after my son's death," Carr said.

"We've laid out for the court in our submissions of public statements and even quasi-public statements that these officials have made that show that they have personal knowledge, and they have personal involvement," petitioners attorney Gideon Oliver said.

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The plaintiffs also claim some information on the police report was false, adding the judicial process will allow them to get records they've been asking for since 2019.

"We'll look at them as to sort of the, you know, the basis for the stock, or lack of basis, the excessive force at the scene, the leaks of arrest, history and medical information, and then the investigations or lack of investigations in that conduct," attorney Alvin Bragg said.

In court, the city's attorney argued the mayor and police commissioner should not have to testify, because they don't get involved with day-to-day decision making.

CBS2 reached out to the city Law Department, which issued the following statement:

"So much information about this incident has been made publicly available and there is no evidence that the mayor or any other senior city official neglected their duties or violated the law. We argued that the summary inquiry that the petitioners sought was outside the scope of this very narrow and rarely used type of proceeding. The court acknowledged that summary inquiries should remain exceedingly rare, but concluded that this one is exceptional and should go forward. We are reviewing our options," a spokesman said.

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