• In the disciplinary case of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, an administrative judge has recommended that he be fired in connection with the chokehold he put Eric Garner in, which resulted in his death, despite Garner repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”
  • The judge, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado, found Pantaleo guilty of “using a banned chokehold but did not find him guilty of intentionally restricting Garner’s breathing.”
  • The judge’s determination was “provided Friday to Pantaleo’s lawyer and the city agency that acted as a prosecutor at his department trial.”
  • As a result of the judge’s ruling, “the NYPD announced that Pantaleo has been suspended, as is the longstanding practice in these matters when the recommendation is termination.”
  • However, it’s not yet clear whether Pantaleo will be paid during his suspension.
  • Garner’s daughter, Emerald, said at a press conference with Al Sharpton: “This has been a long battle. Five years too long. Finally, somebody has said that there’s some information that this cop has done something wrong.”
  • Garner added: “Commissioner O’Neill, fire Pantaleo.”
  • In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James said: “I strongly urge Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O’Neill to follow through on this recommendation and take this overdue, but critical action to ensure our communities finally feel some semblance of justice.”
  • Pantaleo’s attorney will be given about two weeks to respond to the judge’s recommendation before Police Commissioner James O’Neill makes his final decision on Pantaleo’s punishment.
  • 43-year-old Garner was a black man accused of selling single cigarettes in front of a Staten Island store when Pantaleo confronted him to arrest him in 2014.
  • Bystander video captured Garner gasping “repeatedly that he could not breathe after Pantaleo and other officers knocked him to the ground as Pantaleo held him around the head and neck.”
  • The incident sparked nationwide protests and cries of racism over the deaths of black people, especially men, at the hands of law enforcement and the unevenness of the justice system when it comes to black suspects.
  • Last month, the Department of Justice announced that it wouldn’t bring federal charges against Pantaleo.

Reference Links

  • NPR: NYPD Judge Recommends That The Officer Involved In Eric Garner’s Death Be Fired READ
  • AP: The Latest: Police union: Firing officer will paralyze force READ
  • TIME: NYPD Suspends Officer in Eric Garner Death After Judge Recommends Firing Him READ
  • USA TODAY: Police officer in Eric Garner’s death, Daniel Pantaleo, should be fired, NYPD judge says READ

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