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NYPD files formal departmental charges against officers in Eric Garner case

The New York police officer who choked Eric Garner in 2014 has been formally served with departmental charges, an NYP...

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 10:38 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 10:38 AM

The New York police officer who choked Eric Garner in 2014 has been formally served with departmental charges, an NYPD spokesman said Saturday.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who wrapped his arm around Garner's neck before the man complained he couldn't breathe, was served with the charges Friday night, according to city officials.

Pantaleo is seen in video from the scene tackling Garner from behind using a department-banned chokehold. He now faces two separate charges -- for use of a chokehold and for restricting the man's breathing, said an NYPD official with knowledge of the investigation.

An asthmatic, Garner was later pronounced dead. His death, which became emblematic of long-standing tensions between police and minority communities, was ruled a homicide.

Pantaleo, who has remained on the NYPD payroll, faces punishment ranging from loss of vacation days to termination, officials said.

Stuart London, Pantaleo's attorney, declined comment Saturday. He said his client was "looking forward to being vindicated" after the NYPD confirmed Thursday that it was initiating the disciplinary process.

Another officer, Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, a supervisor and one of the first officers to respond, also faces departmental charges for alleged procedural infractions, city officials said. Her attorney also declined comment.

Pantaleo's case will be prosecuted by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city agency tasked with oversight of the police department, officials said. The CCRB substantiated allegations of misconduct against Pantaleo, police officials said.

An NYPD official will lead the administrative case against Adonis.

The disciplinary hearings likely will take place in early 2019, according to an NYPD official. That will allow the officers' attorneys adequate time to prepare, said Lawrence Byrne, the deputy commissioner for legal matters.

Family wants officers held accountable

On Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of Garner's death, his mother, Gwen Carr, stood on the steps of City Hall and demanded action from authorities, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"The de Blasio administration should never have waited for four years," Carr said in a statement, adding that she wanted all the officers seen in the video to be disciplined -- not just Pantaleo and Adonis.

Garner died in 2014 after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six, who was allegedly selling cigarettes illegally in Staten Island.

Garner's sister, Ellisha Flagg, said the video was clear-cut and the officers should be fired.

"Eric lost his life. What gives him the right to keep his job?" Flagg, 42, said. "I'll be a little satisfied when someone is actually held accountable. It won't bring him back but at least we know we didn't let it go."

Police union calls for fair process

Tuesday, the US Justice Department released a statement saying it informed the NYPD in the spring that the department was to pursue disciplinary proceedings. City officials have denied the claim.

De Blasio, who said he was surprised by Tuesday's statement, asked NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill to speak directly to top DOJ officials.

"We wanted to hear it from a ranking official of DOJ," de Blasio said. "That was done in the last 24 hours. It was specifically confirmed. That makes it abundantly clear to all of us. It's time to move forward."

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the union that represents Pantaleo and other rank-and-file members, called for a fair and not political process.

"We hope that the NYPD's eagerness to start the disciplinary process does not mean the outcome has already been decided, without even the pretense of due process," said PBA President Patrick Lynch in a statement. "P.O. Pantaleo is entitled to a complete and impartial review of the facts. We are confident that he will be vindicated by such a review, unless the mayor and the NYPD leadership have already decided to prioritize politics over fairness."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 595436

Reported Deaths: 9466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion822851311
Lake44626670
Allen32165543
Hamilton28684308
St. Joseph26917378
Elkhart24173343
Vanderburgh18856236
Tippecanoe17638125
Johnson14687289
Porter14513163
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Monroe9189108
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Warrick652994
Hancock646999
Bartholomew631096
Floyd6205107
Wayne5984159
Grant5874110
Dubois547175
Boone538867
Morgan524192
Henry497764
Marshall495384
Cass475362
Dearborn464545
Noble463157
Jackson417846
Shelby405680
Lawrence383876
Clinton367840
Gibson360058
DeKalb339163
Montgomery338152
Harrison333643
Knox329839
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Steuben309343
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Scott218538
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Washington179321
Starke172743
Jay163922
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 836049

Reported Deaths: 10323
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin98533705
Cuyahoga831801065
Hamilton61931441
Montgomery42028399
Summit33849736
Lucas30524605
Butler30003228
Stark25093419
Warren19083140
Lorain18418212
Mahoning16931337
Lake15592136
Clermont15335105
Delaware1403077
Licking12819132
Trumbull12515307
Fairfield1232480
Greene11729135
Medina11286165
Clark10672264
Wood10081156
Allen9639126
Portage9006107
Miami895273
Richland8910116
Marion7377113
Tuscarawas7177174
Columbiana7164124
Pickaway710350
Wayne6855165
Muskingum678241
Erie5976118
Hancock542990
Ross535287
Scioto527063
Geauga491755
Darke459489
Ashtabula443172
Lawrence439353
Union437028
Sandusky427462
Mercer427387
Seneca417357
Auglaize416259
Huron416138
Shelby413521
Jefferson409066
Belmont403740
Washington375940
Putnam367872
Athens36759
Madison343429
Knox340122
Ashland336838
Fulton328543
Defiance322578
Crawford316371
Preble313836
Brown298819
Logan296529
Ottawa283934
Clinton281243
Williams272866
Highland266018
Jackson259043
Guernsey245325
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Morrow22574
Perry223318
Holmes220362
Henry213547
Hardin206433
Coshocton199620
Van Wert198744
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Gallia192126
Adams167415
Pike167417
Hocking165523
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Noble118740
Meigs105021
Monroe97229
Harrison8598
Morgan79728
Vinton67613
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