The feds have revived the grand jury probe into the NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner and a police witness who was questioned in front of the panel believes an indictment is looming.
A high-ranking NYPD official and a sergeant testified behind closed doors in the Brooklyn federal courthouse on Wednesday after being slapped with subpoenas.
Revelation of their appearances before the grand jury marks the first sign that the US Justice Department hasn’t abandoned the racially charged case since the inauguration of President Trump and the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
A flurry of witnesses appeared before the panel in January, during the waning days of the administration of former President Barack Obama.
Deputy Inspector Joseph Veneziano who was commanding officer of Staten Island’s 120th Precinct when Garner was killed there in 2014 complained after his testimony Wednesday that the “yes or no” answers he had to give were intended to blame cop Daniel Pantaleo.
“Veneziano was upset that the questions in front of the grand jury were selective,” a source said.
“It seems they’re moving toward trying to get an indictment.”
NYPD anti-crime Sgt. Dahnan Saminath, who appears in the infamous cell-phone video of Garner’s deadly takedown, was also forced to testify Wednesday, sources said.
The feds plan to continue questioning witnesses before the grand jury at least through next month, sources said.
Last year, civil-rights prosecutors from “Main Justice” in Washington took control of the long-running investigation into Garner’s death following a clash with local feds who opposed filing charges in the case.
Neither the DOJ nor Pantaleo’s lawyer would comment on the latest development.