A police officer in New York has been cleared of charges in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the New York Post has reported.

The incident happened on July 17, 2014, and was caught on tape.  The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, wrestled him to the ground with the help of some other officers, in an attempt to arrest him for trying to sell loose cigarettes.  A choke hold was administered on the victim, Eric Garner, which is not allowed by the NYPD.  Even though Garner, who was an asthmatic, stated that he couldn't breathe multiple times during the incident, officers continued to hold him down and the choke hold was not released.

Garner then laid lifeless on the ground, while the police waited for emergency personnel to arrive, but it was too late.  Eric Garner had passed away, he was just 43 years old.

The officer, Daniel Pantaleo has released a statement:

“I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”

The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio also issued a statement and has cancelled his events for the rest of the day and is headed to Staten Island.  In his statement, de Blasio called the dead of Eric Garner "a terrible tragedy that no family should have to endure."  He continued to say that the grand jury's decision was “one that many in our city did not want."

Protests are expected to take place tonight in NYC, more specifically in Times Square, where the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting is taking place tonight.  Eric Garner's 18-year-old son spoke to the New York Daily News, saying it's "not going to be a Ferguson-like protest because I think everybody knows my father wasn't a violent man, and they're going to respect his memory by remaining peaceful."