Dan Donovan, Staten Island’s District Attorney, has said that he is attempting to get permission from the court to release the documents the grand jury saw in the Eric Garner case, the Huffington Post reported.
In a statement released by Donovan, he first offered condolences to the family of Garner, who was killed while unarmed by a police officer using an illegal chokehold earlier this year, saying that they had “consistently carried themselves with grace during the past four months.”
Donovan then said that, unlike in the Ferguson case where documents were released immediately following the Michael Brown grand jury verdict, New York law requires that “a showing of a compelling and particularized need for access” before grand jury information can be disclosed to the public.
“After the grand jury reached its decision this afternoon, I applied for a court order pursuant to CPL § 190.25(4)(a) seeking authorization to public release specific information in connection with this grand jury investigation. That application is under consideration by the court, and I am therefore constrained by New York law to reveal nothing further regarding these proceedings.”
As HuffPo pointed out, Donovan is conveniently up for re-election next year, and is also rumored to be considering a bid to run for Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm’s seat if he decides to resign. Given that Grimm was charged with a 20-count indictment for fraud, perjury, and federal tax evasion, his resignation wouldn’t be surprising.
While Donovan might genuinely be trying to get his constituents the information regarding the Garner case that they want to help them gain answers, and hopefully closure, it seems a little more self-serving than that. Attempting to get the documents released allows Donovan to appear like he really cares about the concerns of those living (aka potential voters) in his district without actually having done anything to get justice for Garner and his family.