The Staten Island branch and state conference of the NAACP is calling for a different judge to make a decision on whether grand jury records in the Eric Garner case should be released, according to SILive.com.
In a petition filed Friday Jan. 9, the civil rights organization said the case should be moved from the hands of Supreme Court Justice William E. Garnett to those of a judge in the other four boroughs of New York City.
"We believe that the process should be taken out of Richmond County," said James I. Meyerson, a lawyer for the New York State Conference of the NAACP, according to SILive. "The perception of integrity and fairness has been compromised, in our view."
On Jan. 29, Judge Garnett is set to hear arguments from four parties on releasing records of the grand jury proceedings for the case of Garner, who died while being held in a chokehold by a NYPD officer in July.
Those who have called for transparency of the court documents include the Legal Aid Society, the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York Post and New York City's public advocate Letitia James, the New York Times reports.
“At least we’ll have some transparency and see what they were ruling on,” Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, said, according to the Times.
Last month, a Staten Island grand jury voted not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the case of Garner.
Garner, 43, was being stopped by the police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. Garner was later taken to the ground and died after shouting, “I can’t breathe!” several times on a video recording that was spread around the Internet. His death was later ruled a homicide.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Family photo via National Action Network)
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