Justice Department shake up could breathe new life into Eric Garner case

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The Justice Department is shaking up the inquiry into Eric Garner's death, replacing the New York lawyers and agents who were assigned to the case. The move could breathe new life into the inquiry and get the ball rolling to seek criminal charges at the federal level.

In the past few weeks, the FBI agents who were investigating the case were replaced by agents from outside New York, according to five federal agents who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case publicly.

Lawyer demands Eric Garner's kids take DNA tests before dividing $7M settlement

What's more, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are no longer assigned to the case, though it is unclear whether the Washington civil rights attorneys will then work alone in presenting the case.

Eric Garner, Michael Brown protests:

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A demonstrator with a shirt painted 'Fight the Power' stands before a crowd of other demonstrators during the 'Justice For All' march in Washington, DC, December 13, 2014. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold up a giant placard of a man with his hands up during the 'Justice For All' march in Washington, DC, December 13, 2014. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Colin Kirk (R) and Margaus Van Allen (L) hold placards as they march during the 'Justice For All' march in Washington, DC, December 13, 2014. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator with gloves that read 'Stop Killing' chants during the 'Justice For All' march in Washington, DC, December 13, 2014. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators chant during the 'Justice For All' march in Washington, DC, December 13, 2014. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Lesley McSpadden, mother of police shooting victim Michael Brown helps lead the 'Justice For All' rally and march in the nation's capital against police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men by police, December 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Organized by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, this march and other like it across the country aim to tell Congress and the country that demonstrators will not stand down until there is systemic change, accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct. Sharpton said the demonstration is happening in Washington 'because all over the country we all need to come together and demand this Congress deal with the issues, that we need laws to protect the citizens in these states from these state grand jurors.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Thousands of people gather for the 'Justice For All' rally and march in the nation's capital against police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men by police, December 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Organized by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, this march and other like it across the country aim to tell Congress and the country that demonstrators will not stand down until there is systemic change, accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct. Sharpton said the demonstration is happening in Washington 'because all over the country we all need to come together and demand this Congress deal with the issues, that we need laws to protect the citizens in these states from these state grand jurors.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Thousands of people participate in the 'Justice For All' rally and march in the nation's capital against police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men by police, December 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Organized by Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, this march and other like it across the country aim to tell Congress and the country that demonstrators will not stand down until there is systemic change, accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct. Sharpton said the demonstration is happening in Washington 'because all over the country we all need to come together and demand this Congress deal with the issues, that we need laws to protect the citizens in these states from these state grand jurors.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 13: Thousands of protesters participate in the 'Justice For All' march against police violence on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Protesters held a rally at Freedom Plaza before marching to the U.S. Capitol. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A demonstrator holds a placard during the 'Justice For All' march in Washington, DC, December 13, 2014. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US film director Spike Lee (R) holds a US flag as thousands take part in the Justice for All March and Rally down Pennsylvania Avenue through downtown Washington, DC, December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands take part in the Justice for All March and Rally on Pennsylvania Avenue through downtown Washington, DC, on December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters fill Pennsylvania Avenue during the 'Justice For All' march December 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Thousands of people descended on Washington to demand justice Saturday for black men who have died at the hands of white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Reverend Al Sharpton (C) stands alongside US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (L), Democrat of New York, and family members of unarmed African-Americans who have been killed by police offiers, join thousands as they take part in the Justice for All March and Rally down Pennsylvania Avenue through downtown Washington, DC, December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African-Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands take part in the Justice for All March and Rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African-Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands take part in the Justice for All March and Rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African-Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands take part in the Justice for All March and Rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African-Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands take part in the Justice for All March and Rally on Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2014, to protest the killings of unarmed African-Americans by police officers and the decisions by Grand Juries to not indict them. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at Freedom plaza in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All march and rally. More than 10,000 protesters are converging on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations are holding a march to the Capitol on Saturday with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All march. More than 10,000 protesters are converging on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations are holding a march to the Capitol on Saturday with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All rally. More than 10,000 protesters are converging on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations are holding a march to the Capitol on Saturday with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All march and rally. More than 10,000 protesters are converging on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations are holding a march to the Capitol on Saturday with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march toward Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All march. More than 10,000 protesters are converging on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations are holding a march to the Capitol on Saturday with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All march. More than 10,000 protesters are converging on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations are holding a march to the Capitol on Saturday with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who died in incidents with white police officers. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Demonstrators chant at Freedom Plaza in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All rally and march. In the past three weeks, grand juries have decided not to indict officers in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The decisions have unleashed demonstrations and questions about police conduct and whether local prosecutors are the best choice for investigating police. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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This will likely breathe new life into the Eric Garner case, which has been stalled by federal prosecutors and agents from New York who have claimed that there is no basis for criminal charges, while prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington said that there was ample evidence; including the video of the incident in which Garner could clearly be heard telling officers "I can't breathe," a statement that would become a rallying cry for protesters around the nation.

While the Justice Department and FBI have not commented, Stuart London, a lawyer for Officer Pantaleo, responded to the rumors of changes by saying, "If it is true that the Justice Department is rejecting the recommendations of seasoned F.B.I. agents and assistant United States attorneys, this is a gross miscarriage of justice. In our system of justice, politics should never take the place of the rule of law."

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