A New York grand jury Wednesday opted not to indict a white policeman in the killing of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man whose last words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying cry for protesters who blamed his death on racial profiling and police abuse.
The decision, coming nine days after a Missouri grand jury declined to charge a white officer in the death of Michael Brown, drew swift reactions that reflected the passions that have increasingly surrounded such cases across the country.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials, anxious to avoid the violence that erupted in Ferguson after Officer Darren Wilson walked free, urged calm as activists called for demonstrators to converge at Times Square, Rockefeller Center and other landmarks.
De Blasio, whose wife is black, invoked their teenage son, Dante, and said his heart went out to Garner’s family.
“This is a subject that is never far from my family’s minds,” De Blasio said. “I’ve had to talk to Dan