Sometimes the problem isn't the officer, but the training. Why the NYPD allows choke holds from the outset is beyond me. Its too easy to misapply one with tragic results in the field, and law enforcement has known that for decades. The LAPD ultimately banned them after a series of unintended deaths while officers were trying to subdue suspects using them. Numerous departments, esp. in the western US, followed suit. The NYPD should have seen the pitfalls and potential ramifications of allowing choke-holds and followed suit.
But therein lies the problem -- indicting the officer isn't the solution. Proving criminal intent, or that the officer was being unreasonable when he was doing what his department trained him to do and cavalierly taught him was "less-than-lethal" isn't going to meaningfully address the problem, and isn't entirely reasonable. From where I sit, criminal charges in a grand jury were doomed to fail. A better solution -- and one that would be more effective in obtaining a change in policy -- would be a multimillion dollar lawsuit (lets call it 20+ million) against the NYPD for willfully maintaining policies proven flawed in other jurisdictions that resulted in wrongful death.
Name the officer. Name the commissioner. Name the senior policy makers responsible. But going after an officer who followed policy without being able to prove criminal intent? That sounds more like a lynch mob with torches and pitchforks demanding a scapegoat -- and the prosecutor fishing for a fall guy so they can ignore the real issue at hand -- than justice. In my opinion, justice in this case is the NYPD acknowledging their policy was irresponsible, changing said policy, firing the bosses responsible, and then paying out the shorts. It may not be the catharsis the media frenzy is looking for -- but it would mean no one else would die from a policy choke-hold in NYC.
NOTE: I posted a correction to this BELOW. The NYPD did ban choke-holds -- but there definition of "choke-holds" opens the door to a lot of problems....
Jeff gave me an exhaustive description. I hope I did his team justice. To those others that I have commissions to do for, I will be getting to them slowly and surely. Origins is eating up a bit of time due to prep. But I'll be taking sketches to do with me.