Bias crime investigation near Staten Island neighborhood where Eric Garner died, says NYPD

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Five cars were defaced with graffiti on Staten Island early Monday in what the NYPD is investigating as a possible bias crime about a half mile from where Eric Garner died after a confrontation with police, officials said.

According to the NYPD, the cars were discovered spray-painted and scribbled upon about 2 a.m. in front of 241 and 243 Westervelt Ave. in the St. George area of the borough. One car was scrawled with a racial epithet and another with an obscenity. Three other vehicles had illegible scribblings, police said.

The Westervelt Avenue addresses are in a neighborhood which has a population that is more than 42 percent black or African-American, according to the 2010 Census.

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As of late Monday, police had not made any arrests. The location of the incident is several blocks northwest of the Bay Street location where Garner, 43, succumbed after police used a banned chokehold while trying to arrest him July 17.

Saturday, thousands of supporters of Garner and his family, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, marched along Bay Street to the Stuyvesant Place office of Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan Jr., who is putting the case of Garner's death before a grand jury next month.

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