The New York City Police Department announced Monday that it will be firing Daniel Pantaleo, the officer responsible for the chokehold that led to the 2014 death of Eric Garner which prompted protests against police brutality across the country.
Pantaleo was fired two weeks after a disciplinary trial in which the presiding judge made a nonbinding recommendation for his dismissal for violating the New York City police department’s ban on chokeholds.
“The unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own,” said New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, “Therefore I agree with the deputy commissioner of trial’s legal findings and recommendations. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.”
Eric Garner died on July 14, 2014 after being arrested for selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island. Pantaleo put Garner in chokehold during which Garner repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” until he lost consciousness. Police then left him on the sidewalk until emergency services arrived and he was pronounced dead an hour later. His death highlighted a trend of police officers using excessive force against people of color which sparked protests across the country and gave increasing momentum to the Black Lives Matter movement who used Garner’s last words as a rallying cry against police brutality and racial profiling.
Sources: NYT 8/19/19; Huffington Post 8/19/19; Feminist Newswire 7/16/19