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Court nixes release of grand jury testimony in black man's New York police chokehold death

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NEW YORK — A New York appeals court says the public can't see the testimony a grand jury heard before declining to indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

A state Supreme Court Appellate Division panel ruled Wednesday. A lower-court judge declined in March to release the testimony following Eric Garner's death, citing longstanding principles of grand jury secrecy.

City Public Advocate Letitia James and legal groups say they'll keep fighting to make the information public. They say people need a clearer view of how grand jurors reached their decision, which ignited protests about police treatment of minorities.

Ex-Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan had argued against releasing the information. He noted grand jurors and witnesses expect confidentiality.

A medical examiner found the chokehold contributed to Garner's death. The officer says he didn't use a chokehold.


This story has been corrected to show Donovan is the former district attorney, not the current district attorney.

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