SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

On the 4th anniversary of Eric Garner's death, mother calls for police firings

On the fourth anniversary of Eric Garner's death Tuesday, his mother stood on the steps of City Hall and demanded act...

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 11:54 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 11:54 PM

On the fourth anniversary of Eric Garner's death Tuesday, his mother stood on the steps of City Hall and demanded action from authorities.

Just a day earlier, the New York Police Department said in a letter to the Justice Department that it would start disciplinary proceedings against officers in Garner's death as early as September.

Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, called the letter a "smokescreen" and demanded to know why the NYPD won't act sooner.

"(Mayor Bill) de Blasio -- why September? Why September?" Carr asked in front of supporters. "When you could have moved in April and May and June and now it's July. Let's move today. We have to get action on this case."

A deputy press secretary for de Blasio, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, told CNN, "We share the family's frustration. The process has taken too long, and the NYPD is no longer waiting for the DOJ to begin disciplinary proceedings."

Garner died after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally in Staten Island.

Video shows officer Daniel Pantaleo tackling Garner from behind using a department-banned chokehold. Pantaleo has remained on NYPD's payroll.

In its letter, the NYPD said it will go ahead with disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo as early as September 1 if the Justice Department doesn't say by then whether it will press federal charges.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Lawrence Byrne wrote that the police department delayed starting the disciplinary process at the request of the DOJ so it would not impact the DOJ investigation.

"However, based on our most recent conversations, it has become clear that a definite date by which time a final decision by the US DOJ will be rendered in this matter cannot be predicted," Byrne wrote.

Byrne added that due to the "extraordinary passage of time," any further delay in starting the internal proceedings "can no longer be justified."

The "internal administrative disciplinary proceedings" would determine if Pantaleo would face administrative discipline. Those proceedings would not determine criminal charges. An attorney for Pantaleo declined to comment on the case Tuesday.

The NYPD said it would also launch disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo's supervisor, Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, who is still on active duty.

NYPD says mixed messages from DOJ

In a statement, the Department of Justice said: "As officials at the Department of Justice informed Mr. Byrne this spring, the New York Police Department may move forward with its disciplinary proceedings. Mr. Byrne's letter does not have any bearing on the decision-making timeline at the Justice Department, and the Department cannot comment further at this time."

An NYPD official disputed the Justice Department statement, saying the city was not informed by the Justice Department that it could go ahead with proceedings this spring.

A Justice Department official added Tuesday that lawyers in the Civil Rights Division had phone conversations with the NYPD in 2017 and 2018 and consistently made clear they wouldn't object to the department moving forward with disciplinary proceedings. However, lawyers did say in September 2017 that if the NYPD planned to move forward, it should consider holding off on discovery while the criminal investigation was pending, as is typical when evidentiary issues overlap, the source explained.

An NYPD official said the department has had several phone conversations with the DOJ "going back to the beginning of 2015," and under two different administrations, when the department was told not to go forward with its internal proceedings until the DOJ's investigation was completed.

The NYPD said it filed discipline charges against Adonis, but that the DOJ urged the department to pause the process until the criminal investigation was completed.

Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which represents Pantaleo, said it agrees the DOJ should move to close the officer's case "and put an end to what has been a highly irregular fishing expedition by those seeking an indictment at all cost."

"However, that should not trigger a race by the NYPD to reach a predetermined outcome in its own disciplinary processes," Lynch said.

Lynch said Pantaleo "is entitled to due process and an impartial consideration of the facts. If that is allowed to occur, we are confident that he will be vindicated and will finally be able to move forward."

A representative from Adonis' union, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, could not be reached.

'They all were misbehaving on that day'

A 2014 grand jury in New York declined to indict Pantaleo, a Staten Island officer who is white. Garner was black.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, known as CCRB, the independent entity that would oversee the case against officers in administrative proceedings, recommended disciplinary action against Pantaleo in 2017 for using a chokehold.

"The CCRB's Administrative Prosecution Unit stands ready to prosecute Officer Pantaleo as it does in cases in which the board substantiates misconduct against a member of the NYPD and recommends charges and specifications," CCRB Chairman Fred Davie said in a statement.

In a news conference shortly after the NYPD's letter to the DOJ was released, the Rev. Al Sharpton criticized the DOJ's slow response to the case.

"It seems the height of hypocrisy that the DOJ is going to reopen the case of Emmett Till that's 60 years old and will not move forward on a case that's four years old," the Rev. Al Sharpton said Monday while standing with Carr, Garner's mother.

At Sharpton's event Monday, Carr asked that all officers involved with the death of her son be fired, adding that she still has not been told the names of the other officers.

"Please move forward on this and fire those officers -- all of them, not just Pantaleo. We want them all fired," she said. "They all were misbehaving on that day."

The mayor, in an appearance Monday evening on CNN affiliate NY1, said the NYPD is doing "exactly the right thing here."

"I think anyone who's frustrated with the aftermath of the death of Eric Garner, I understand that 100%," he said on the program "Inside City Hall." "This has not been the way things are supposed to be because of the reality of the Justice Department."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 18°
Huntington
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
Lima
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 23°
Dry start to Monday, snow/freezing rain moves in late
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events