Published: Tue, August 20, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

NYPD fires officer in Eric Garner case

NYPD fires officer in Eric Garner case

O'Neill had been deliberating on whether to accept a disciplinary judge's recommendation to fire Pantaleo for using a banned chokehold on Garner.

New York City Police Department Commissioner James O'Neill fired officer Daniel Pantaleo Monday over the controversial choking death of Eric Garner five years ago.

June 21, 2017: Garner's family, along with Al Sharpton, meet privately with Justice Department officials. "He has chosen to cringe in fear of the anti-police extremists, rather than standing up for New Yorkers who want a functioning police department, with cops who are empowered to protect them and their families", Lynch's statement said. His death triggered a movement to change how police treat minorities.

The mayor also insisted that the decision to ax Pantaleo rested exclusively with O'Neill. "That's for sure", police union spokesman Albert O'Leary told NPR.

The chairman of the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board said "this process took entirely too long" and lamented that the tragic events could not be reversed. "The NYPD must take further steps to rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve, put an end to police brutality against communities of color, and ensure what happened to Eric Garner will never happen again". "That could possibly be me".

Maldonado found Pantaleo guilty of recklessly causing physical injury and not guilty of strangulation with intent to impede breathing.

Federal authorities announced last month that they wouldn't bring civil rights charges.

Garner died on July 17, 2014, after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six, who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes illegally on Staten Island, a crime for which he previously he had been arrested.

While the chokehold itself did not kill Eric Garner, Maldonado wrote that the "chokehold was a significant factor in triggering the asthma attack that contributed to Mr. Garner's death".

In 2015 the family settled a civil lawsuit with the city for $5.9m.

May 13, 2019: After many delays, the NYPD disciplinary trial begins for Pantaleo. The practice was banned in the 1990s.

It was also found that while the technique Pantaleo applied was justifiable when he was pinned against a glass window, it was "reckless" once the officer and suspect ended up on the ground on the sidewalk.

Last month the Justice Department ruled against the Civil Rights Division's recommendation that charges be brought against Pantaleo, siding with officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of NY, and arguing the government's burden of proof could not be met.

O'Neill said at multiple points during the news conference that it was regrettable that Garner resisted arrested, and he said that for several moments Pantaleo acted appropriately in a "tense and rapidly evolving situation".

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