A decision has been made in the case of the New York City police officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. The NYPD has fired Daniel Pantaleo, Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday in a news conference. O’Neill said the decision was made based on the recommendation of administrative Judge Rosemarie Maldonado, and that it was clear that Pantaleo could "no longer effectively serve" as a police officer.
The decision comes almost five years after Garner’s death, which fueled nationwide protests against police brutality. In 2014, police tried to arrest Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island, according to CNN. Pantaleo tried to apprehend him, Garner reportedly resisted, and video of the incident shows that Pantaleo put him in a chokehold that the NYPD banned in 1993 (Pantaleo has denied the use of a chokehold) and then forced Garner’s head toward the ground. Prior to his death, Garner said “I can’t breathe” 11 times, according to The New York Times, a phrase that then became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protestors.
In her opinion released in June, Maldonado called Pantaleo’s denial of using the chokehold "untruthful" and "self-serving," and she blamed him for the "tragic outcome" that resulted. She said there was overwhelming evidence that Pantaleo used a chokehold and recommended that he be fired.
During the Monday press conference, O’Neill said he would follow Maldonado’s decision and Pantaleo would be dismissed.
More to come…
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