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Rev. Sharpton Begins Countdown To Grand Jury Decision In Death Of Eric Garner

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The mother and wife of Eric Garner joined Rev. Al Sharpton Saturday morning to talk about the upcoming grand jury decision in Garner's police chokehold death.

Sharpton announced a countdown to the end of the grand jury from his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem where a crowd chanted "No justice, no peace."

"I want people to know that it's not just Ferguson, it's right here," Sharpton said. "And we going to watch this grand jury -- they have to come back within days -- and we going to be prepared to continue to fight for the federal government to intervene."

In Ferguson, Mo., a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, an officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Wilson had been on administrative leave since the Aug. 9 shooting, however his attorney announced the officer's resignation Saturday, saying it is effective immediately.

Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, called on the grand jury Saturday to indict the officer that put Garner in the apparent chokehold, 1010 WINS' Roger Stern reported.

"I would like to hope that in the coming weeks or the coming days, whatever it be, that the grand jury gives us a fair decision," she said.

Rev. Sharpton Begins Countdown To Grand Jury Decision In Death Of Eric Garner

The grand jury began hearing evidence in the case on Sept. 29, and the lawyer for the officer who placed Garner in the apparent chokehold said he expected the grand jury to take about a month to come to a decision.

Garner, a father of six from Staten Island, died in July after being placed in an apparent chokehold by police officer Daniel Pantaleo.

In cellphone video of the incident, Pantaleo is seen placing his arm around Garner's neck and then taking him to the ground after Garner refuses to be handcuffed. He had been stopped by police for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

Garner is heard saying repeatedly, "I can't breathe!" He died a short time later.

The New York City medical examiner's office ruled Garner's death a homicide, caused by the officer's apparent chokehold as well as chest and neck compressions and prone positioning "during physical restraint by police."

An independent forensic investigator hired by the Garner family also agreed with the medical examiner's findings.

"Compression of the neck that prevents breathing, for example, trumps everything else," forensic pathologist Michael Baden said.

Pantaleo has since been stripped of his badge and gun. His lawyer said his client denies any wronging. Another officer was also put on modified duty.

While the family said the findings confirm Garner's death was caused by an apparent police chokehold, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch has said otherwise.

"The type of compression and damage is consistent with life-saving techniques EMS or emergency room technicians would do in a situation like this," he said in September. "It's consistent with that, not consistent with a chokehold."

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has maintained that neither the medical examiner's findings nor the video of the incident necessarily imply criminal wrongdoing.

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