New York: Some 22,000 New York Police Department patrolmen are to take part in a retraining initiative aimed at averting a repeat of incidents such as the one that led to the death of Eric Garner, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said.
"The relationship between police and community has to change," he told a press conference on Thursday.
"The way we go about policing has to change in this city and in this country. I am fundamentally convinced it will change."
The mayor`s comments followed Wednesday`s announcement that a grand jury in the borough of Staten Island decided not to charge white New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Daniel Pantaleo for applying a chokehold while trying to detain Garner, an African-American, July 17 for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.
The 43-year-old Garner, who was asthmatic, died of asphyxiation. The medical examiner classified the death as a homicide and said the chokehold was a factor.
"This will protect our officers, protect lives of our citizens," de Blasio said of the retraining programme.
The Garner incident was caught on video and the victim could be heard saying "I can`t breathe" multiple times.
The decision came just nine days after a St Louis County grand jury declined to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.