Federal prosecutors will announce on Tuesday that they will not file civil rights charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who fatally choked Eric Garner on a Staten Island street. Wednesday is the fifth anniversary of Garner's death, and also when the statute of limitations for the Department of Justice to file charges expires.

Garner's mother Gwen Carr and other members of the Garner family, accompanied by the Rev. Al Sharpton, met with federal prosecutors on Tuesday morning at a federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

"Lady justice has been choked like Eric Garner," Sharpton told reporters outside the courthouse, as Carr and Garner's daughter, Emerald Snipes, excoriated the Justice Department and demanded that Mayor Bill de Blasio fire Pantaleo immediately.

"Moving forward, we will not wait for the federal government to commence our own disciplinary proceedings," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement outlining changes to city policy.

That policy change: When an unarmed civilian appears to have been killed by an NYPD officer, the NYPD or the CCRB will immediately begin the disciplinary process, unless the victim’s family requests that the criminal case should proceed first, or a judge orders the city wait until a prosecutor completes their investigation.

In Garner's case, the city waited months for a Staten Island grand jury to reach a highly controversial decision not to indict Pantaleo, then years for the federal government, before moving forward with an administrative trial against Pantaleo.

Much of the trial, which took place in May and June, was shrouded in secrecy.

Garner died on July 17, 2014, when police confronted him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes outside 202 Bay Street in Tompkinsville. A number of officers tried to restrain Garner during the arrest, and Pantaleo wrapped his arm around Garner's neck. While he was being choked and taken down by officers, Garner said, "I can't breathe," eleven times before he lost consciousness. Garner later died, and the NYC medical examiner's ruled his death a homicide.

Pantaleo testified at the trial by submitting a 2014 transcript from an interview with Internal Affairs. His attorneys argued that he did not use an illegal chokehold but a "seat belt" move. But members of the NYPD said he did in fact use an illegal chokehold.

This trial's verdict will be issued by NYPD Deputy Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado, who has 75 days to issue a decision. When she makes a decision, she gives it to the lawyers for both sides—the Civilian Complaint Review Board, who acted as prosecutor, and Pantaleo's lawyer—for their comment in a two-week period. The decision to discipline Pantaleo, up to termination, ultimately rests with NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, and by extension, Mayor de Blasio.

NYPD spokesperson Phil Walzak said today, "The NYPD announced in July 2018 that the internal disciplinary case against Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo would proceed without further delay. Today’s announcement by the US Department of Justice does not affect this process. The Departmental disciplinary trial of Officer Pantaleo has concluded. Commissioner O’Neill is now awaiting the report and recommendation from the Deputy Commissioner of Trials, after which he will make the final determination on the matter. In order to ensure the integrity of the process, the NYPD will not comment further at this time."

"For five long years, the United States District Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District has played politics with Mr. Garner’s killing, unnecessarily prolonging his family’s anguish," the Legal Aid Society said in a statement, calling for Mayor de Blasio to fire Pantaleo. "We hope that the Mayor at long last prioritizes the people of New York over the police union and abandons the political calculation that has ruled his decision making on this matter to date. The Garner family deserves justice and answers now."

In a statement, Police Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch said that "although Mr. Garner’s death was an undeniable tragedy, Police Officer Pantaleo did not cause it."

“It is no coincidence that a Grand Jury in NYC and now DOJ, both of which had full access to all of the facts of this case, found no criminality in Police Officer Pantaleo’s actions...We firmly believe that if the NYPD decides the disciplinary case on the facts, free of improper political influence, that Police Officer Pantaleo, will be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing.”