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City, family respond to Garner decision

Justice. Sharpton plans march in D.C. on Saturday.

Esaw Garner and Al Sharpton on NBC's "Meet the Press."

NBC Universal, Getty Images

Protesters continued to call for justice for Eric Garner through the weekend. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner, also publicly weighed in on a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in his death.

On Sunday morning, de Blasio appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” and said he “respect(s) the judicial process” but wouldn’t comment on his opinion of the grand jury’s findings.

De Blasio said the Garner decision shows the need for retraining police forces, and address the underlying “historic racial dynamics.”

“We have to have an honest conversation about the problem that has caused parents to feel their children may be in danger in their dynamics with police when the police are there to protect them. We have to transcend that. And in this city, we've tried to begin that process in earnest with a series of policy changes that will really reach people on the streets,” de Blasio told host George Stephanopoulos.

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On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Esaw Garner said her late husband was “murdered unjustly.”

“I don’t even feel like it’s a black and white thing, honestly .. they knew us by name, they harassed us,” Garner said, with Al Sharpton at her side.

Esaw Garner said she too fears the police, and has moved off of Staten Island since her husband died.

Sharpton’s National Action Network is planning to march in Washington D.C. on Sat., Dec. 13. Sharpton will be joined by family members from Garner’s family, as well as the families of Michael Brown, Akai Gurley and Trayvon Martin.

 
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