(Albuquerque, NM) -- REELZ today announced the world television premiere of American Trial: The Eric Garner Story, a one-of-a-kind unscripted courtroom drama that presents a criminal case against and a defense of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo captured on video using a chokehold on Eric Garner who gasped “I can’t breathe” several times before dying on a Staten Island sidewalk in 2014. Because a Richmond County New York grand jury did not indict the officer, no trial was ever held. To create the courtroom drama we might have seen if there had been one, the mock trial portrayed in this film employs actual prosecutors, defense attorneys and a variety of experts, presents real-life evidence and witnesses to Garner’s death, follows real courtroom rules of evidence and trial procedures, and features Garner’s widow, Esaw Snipes Garner, attorney and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz and forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden who was retained by the Garner family to perform an independent autopsy. The docu-drama also includes news coverage from 2014 of the Eric Garner arrest and reaction in the days and weeks that followed. American Trial: The Eric Garner Story is produced by Platonic Films in association with Plural Image Corp. and is distributed by Passion River Films.
“As an entertainment network focused on storytelling about Real Lives, Real Stories and Real Celebrities, American Trial: The Eric Garner Story offers a unique and timely courtroom perspective that has not yet been explored with respect to this story. The producers achieved an accurate and faithful depiction of the adversarial process at the heart of our criminal justice system that is as captivating as it is informative. This film may offer a window into the future as the prosecutions in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd move through our legal system,” said REELZ CEO Stan E. Hubbard. “We know our viewers often tune in to REELZ as an alternative to the news cycle but the parallels between the deaths of Eric Garner and George Floyd brought an already compelling story into even more poignant focus.”