[guest post by Dana]
Five years after killing Eric Garner, Officer Daniel Pantaleo has been fired:
New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced on Monday that NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo has been fired. O’Neill terminated Pantaleo, 34, after it was determined he violated department policy by restraining Garner with a prohibited chokehold in 2014.
“It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer serve as a police officer,” O’Neill said.
An administrative judge previously recommended Pantaleo’s termination following an internal disciplinary trial. The judge, a deputy commissioner, found Pantaleo was “untruthful” during interviews with investigators and had “recklessly used force” during the fatal encounter.
Pantaleo had not faced official sanction for his actions until now, only being placed on desk duty. The Justice Department in July declined to charge Pantaleo with violating Garner’s civil rights. A Staten Island grand jury in 2014 declined to indict Pantaleo.
According to Commissioner O’Neill, Pantaleo was not personally informed of his dismissal before it was publicly announced. Also, according to O’Neill, Pantaleo will not receive his NYPD pension, contributions already made towards his pension will be returned to him.
Eric Garner’s daughter told reporters:
“I don’t even want to see another video of a person being choked out. Because it wasn’t supposed to happen to him. It’s not supposed to happen. I should not be here standing with my brother, fatherless. I should be standing here with my father. But Pantaleo took that away from me on 7/17. Yes, he’s fired. But the fight is not over. We will continue to fight.”
She also thanked NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill for his decision to fire Pantaleo.
“I thank you for doing the right thing,” Emerald Garner said.
Pantaleo’s lawyers plan to appeal the decision:
Daniel Pantaleo’s attorney Stuart London said that he received a call notifying him that Pantaleo was being fired “about 13 minutes” before the NYPD police commissioner made the public announcement.
London, speaking at a press conference today, said that he passed the information onto Pantaleo.
“Obviously he is disappointed, upset,” London said about Pantaleo’s reaction. “But he has a lot of strength.”
London said that Pantaleo will file an Article 78 in court to appeal the decision by the commissioner to terminate him.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)