What We Know:
- Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York City, after Daniel Pantaleo, a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer, put him in a headlock or chokehold for 15 seconds while arresting him. The filming of the incident brought police brutality into wider public awareness.
- The officer’s defense attorney said it was Garner’s poor health that led to his death. A grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo on criminal charges, and last month, the Justice Department decided not to press civil rights charges.
- The NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials, Rosemarie Maldonado, presided over the departmental trial. The civilian complaint review board and Pantaleo’s attorney will then have two weeks to draft a response once that recommendation is passed on. The final decision on whether or not officer Pantaleo is fired will fall on Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
- In a statement, CCRB Chair Fred Davie said, “Today’s decision confirms what the Civilian Complaint Review Board always has maintained: Officer Daniel Pantaleo committed misconduct on July 17, 2014, and his actions caused the death of Eric Garner. The evidence the CCRB’s prosecutors brought forth at trial was more than sufficient to prove that Pantaleo is unfit to serve. Commissioner O’Neill must uphold this verdict and dismiss Pantaleo from the Department, as was recommended by both the CCRB and the Deputy Commissioner of Trials.”During the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Wednesday night, Mayor Bill de Blasio implied that justice would be had in the Pantaleo case within 30 days.”
In August 2014, a medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, saying the chokehold was the cause. A grand jury on Staten Island declined to indict Pantaleo in Garner’s death. Pantaleo has said that he performed a legal move called the “seatbelt” on Garner.
This story will be updated at BNA.