Police Abuse

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo Is Fired 5 Years After Placing Eric Garner in a Chokehold

An internal disciplinary hearing found him guilty of recklessly causing physical injury.

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Five years after Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has fired him.

In 2014, Pantaleo was part of a group that attempted to arrest Garner, who they suspected of selling individual untaxed cigarettes. In the ensuing confrontation, which was captured on video, Pantaleo put Garner in a chokehold. Garner told the officers repeatedly that he was unable to breathe. They ignored his pleas, and he died. Garner has since become a symbol of the movement against police brutality.

An internal disciplinary hearing followed, and The New York Times obtained and released its results yesterday. In the report, Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado writes that while she does not believe that Pantaleo intended to choke Garner, the autopsy results, the video, and Pantaleo's own interviews led her to conclude that he used the prohibited move. Maldonado also called Pantaleo "untruthful" about his behavior. "I found [Pantaleo] to be disingenuous when he viewed the video and denied using a chokehold," she wrote.

Maldonado found Pantaleo guilty of recklessly causing physical injury and not guilty of strangulation with intent to impede breathing. She recommended Pantaleo's dismissal, and NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill announced today that Pantaleo is being fired.

"While this is some measure of long-overdue relief, we have a long way to go to achieve true police accountability," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New York, said in a statement. "The NYPD must take further steps to rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve, put an end to police brutality against communities of color, and ensure what happened to Eric Garner will never happen again."

Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, responded to the decision by accusing O'Neill of choosing "politics and his own self-interest" over the interests of NYPD officers. He continued: "Now it is time for every police officer in this city to make their own choice. We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed 'reckless' just for doing their job."

Garner's daughter, Emerald Garner, thanked O'Neill for "doing the right thing":

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  1. So what’s with the 5 year delay?

    In a normal job, do they wait five years after the incident before firing you for it?

    1. I am making 10,000 Dollar at home own laptop .Just do work online 4 to 6 hour proparly . so i make my family happy and u can do

      Read More

      1. But what if I choke – excuse me, I mean put my arm around somebody’s neck and give them an nonsensual hug? Can they put off the firing for five years?

    2. Because that is five more years added to his pension benefits.

      1. I hear they don’t even investigate cop-killings until a couple of years later, just to be even-handed. Is that true?

        1. I have no idea what you hear or not, but I’ll take your word for it.

  2. “Garner has since become a symbol of the movement against police brutality.”

    Incorrect.

    If Garner was white, it would have been ignored.

    1. Exactly! The usual black victim…whiteys sleays at fault. Better to just not police their ghetto’s and let the savages do what they do.

      1. Back to Daily Stormer, Barking Jackass.

  3. who they suspected of selling individual untaxed cigarettes.

    A big part of the issue was that they tried to detain him for being black on the scene and made up the lie about untaxed cigarettes after the fact. Much like with Freddie Gray.

    Jesus, Reason, this was one of the issues you were pretty good/strong/reliable on.

    1. Didn’t he break up a fight prior to the cops showing up, then when frustrated cops couldn’t find anyone to beat up, chose the nearest black guy? Kind of how I remember it.

      1. Nice WIZARDS ref.

    2. No they accused him of selling cigs as the reason they were arresting him at the time. That’s why he got mad and resisted.

  4. …she does not believe that Pantaleo intended to choke Garner, the autopsy results, the video, and Pantaleo’s own interviews led her to conclude that he used the prohibited move.

    He mistakenly choked a man to death? How do you do that? It’s not a instantaneous act. It takes some time to accomplish.

    1. Murders who choke their victims do it all the time. It’s evidently especially exciting to have the person beg for air.

      People/government in NY should be ashamed for not trying this murdering piece of shit.

      1. Agree….since when is it a capital crime to sell ‘loosies’? Evidently, in NYC, this is a death penalty offense.

        1. Cops are the enforcement arm of legislatures.

          What happened to Garner is the end result of zero tolerance policies toward smoking.

          1. Disagree. Again, this is assuming the false narrative proposed in defense of a murderer.

            They were called to the scene because of a fight that Garner was, supposedly, only involved in inasmuch as he was breaking it up. They didn’t see him selling loosies, he didn’t try to sell to an informant, they didn’t find a garbage bag full of loose cigarettes in his possession. They knew he’d been picked up for selling loosies in the past and they choked him to death and declared selling loosies to be the motivation post hoc.

            Garner is the end result of qualified immunity and overbearing public unions. The public’s zero tolerance policies towards smoking provided justifiable cover.

            1. This needs to be repeated over and over. He was murdered because he stood up for himself when the cops harassed him.

        2. Imagine if the guy had been shoving “joints”… (shudder)!

        3. Garnder’s death penalty offense was refusing to cooperate to legal insructions from the police and getting into a fight when he weighed 400 pounds and had a heart condition. He was was NOT choked, as the very act of saying I cant breathe proves he could breathe.

          1. Okay… we got it. You can go back and tell your bosses at the policemans benevolent that you submitted your comments.

    2. ” I just slipped and fell into choking him”

      1. And managed not to break any bones in his neck.

  5. But did his pension did choked out?

  6. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New York, said in a statement. “The NYPD must take further steps to rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve…”

    I would love for Ms. Lieberman to expound on the Golden Age of NYC Policing, when there was nothing but trust between officers and communities.

    1. I wonder what her take is on buckets of water being poured on cops?

    2. “…the Golden Age of NYC Policing,

      It was back in the 70’s, when the police in New York City, chased a boy right through the park, in a case of mistaken identity they put a bullet through his heart.

      Choke holds were policy, yo.
      They did not include Pantaleo’s comment that he was waiting for Garner to tap out.

  7. “We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed ‘reckless’ just for doing their job.”

    “If New York City doesn’t want us choking citizens… guess what? That’s exactly what we’ll give them!”

    1. New Yorkers would be a lot better off if the cops spent as much time choking chickens.

    2. Their job is to as much force as it takes to gain compliance. That includes deadly force. Obey or die.

      1. nice to see you commenting, again

  8. “”Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, responded to the decision by accusing O’Neill of choosing “politics and his own self-interest” over the interests of NYPD officers.”‘

    A friendly reminder that Lynch is the asshole that was rationalizing an officer sexually assaulting someone in their custody with a plunger.

    1. Did that someone fail to obey or show sufficient respect? Yes? Well then he deserved it. /dunphy

  9. “I found [Pantaleo] to be disingenuous when he viewed the video and denied using a chokehold,” she wrote.

    Who are you going to believe, Pantaleo or your own lyin’ eyes?

  10. What garbage. I am half surprised they ended up firing him to be honest, but only because these human pieces of trash seem to always get away with it. 5 years he got to keep his job, keep earning, be with his family, keep saving for retirement/pension, when he should be in a prison cell himself.

    Every time I see someone disrespecting, throwing shit at, or harming cops, this is why I reflexively think “…good for them, they probably deserved it”

  11. I generally expect better from Reason. Garner was NOT placed in a choke hold, and died not of any respiratory distress but of a heart attack. The fact remains that the police used inexcusably violent tactics to restrain a man who was selling cigarettes, depriving the All Wise Government of a revenue stream. Isn’t this this enough to spark outrage without lying about the other circumstances surrounding Garner’s death?

    1. The fact remains that the police used inexcusably violent tactics to restrain a man who was selling cigarettes

      The only people who claimed he was selling cigarettes just got fired from their jobs for killing him.

      Again, just like with Freddie Gray, the police were going to arrest him for a crime *they couldn’t know he committed* at the time of the arrest.

    2. The original video clearly showed Pantaleo’s left forearm against Garner’s Adam’s apple. There’s a still shot of Pantaleo still holding his arm against Garner’s throat while Garner is down on the ground.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Eric_Garner

      The man who took the video (Ramsey Orta) was arrested sometime later, after the video went viral, on a weapons charge. He was a member of Copwatch.

      The officers acknowledged lying about how many cigarettes Garner had, originally saying 10,000 (a felony) and later saying it was actually less than 100.

      Everything about this case screams “Blue Wall”. Qualified immunity has to go.

      1. Choke hold, in the eyes of most people, is not having your arm around someone’s neck for several seconds while trying to bring a larger, heavier man to the ground. People think of someone coming up behind you and choking them out. It’s grossly misleading when compared against the video evidence. The notion that the police commit a crime, for not knowing that he was in such poor health that a few seconds of restricted breathing and being placed prone on the ground would kill someone, is absurd. These are standard procedures and that’s why police are getting so pissed. This sort of shit happens all the time when people resist arrest; what are they supposed to do, just let someone walk free and issue empty threats?

        Don’t mistake this as apologism for the police. They shouldn’t even be sent to deal with someone like Garner. However, they’re doing a job as instructed and when you start trying to penalize them for doing what they’re told exactly how they’re trained to do it, that’s when they get pissed and you should get pissed too. If you don’t want cops doing something like this, give them clear procedures and recourse to deal with someone who won’t comply with orders.

        This is some Gentle Giant tier revisionism. Garner was 6’3″ 395lb and was in insanely poor health.

        1. Also, to counter all the revisionism about why the police were suspicious of Garner, he has been arrested 30+ times for crimes such as assault and grand larceny. He’s a career criminal and they know better than to cut him slack just because he’s fat. He’s resisted arrest before and when they wanted to check him out, he didn’t comply with Pantaleo’s orders. Please don’t make an ass out of yourself any more about this blue wall horseshit. The guy was always trouble and this is what happens when you don’t grow up and you act like a punk even though you’re turning 40, have children, and are in terrible health.

    3. He wasn’t selling cigarettes. The cops were called because there had been a fight and Garner broke it up. They got there and started harassing him and he stood up to them so they murdered him.

      1. Being distrustful of a career criminal when he is involved in a reported fight is not harassment, nor is reacting to him resisting arrest murder.

        1. See, this right here is how a cop apologist posts.

          1. Cute labels, but don’t forget where you are. Nobody on Reason is a cop apologist. Personally, I want them to be otherwise disarmed and to be thoroughly demilitarized. That won’t stop me from calling the facts as they are, and the fact is that if I were responsible for dealing with someone with that big of a rap sheet, I wouldn’t trust them when I get a call that they’ve been involved in a fight.

  12. IIRC there were multiple officers present during the encounter with Mr. Garner. One of those present was a sergeant who was in charge of the scene. Her supervision of the choking seems to have escaped discipline.

    I might have just dreamed this.

    1. That’s because it wasn’t an unreasonable way to deal with Garner based on how he acted, especially given:

      1. His criminal history
      2. His size
      3. The sergeant being more experienced
      4. The sergeant being a black woman

    1. Something said by many people experiencing a heart attack.
      One of the symptoms of a heart attack being shortness of breath.
      In my 31 years of responding to heart attacks, I have heard it many times.
      If you’re being choked, you can’t speak – that whole sound being generated by air passing over the vocal cords thing.

      1. It is quite possible to get enough breath to say something to try save your life without having a enough breath to survive. He wasn’t conversing- he was trying to get the message across using the shortest sentence possible.

  13. New York City’s punitive cigarette taxes created a demand for single cigarettes among nicotine addicts and tempted Eric Garners to make some spare change by buying a pack and selling loosies to the desperate. They collected their sin tax when the whole pack was sold. Why should it even be a crime to sell loosies to adults?

    New York City killed Eric Garner.

    1. Actually, I think they get extra salty about it because people travel to Jersey or elsewhere and buy them for somewhat less than $20 per pack, robbing the great city and state of New York of their addict tax money.

  14. And while the ideological composition of academia is heavily tilted toward progressivism, there’s little evidence that progressive professors tend to be biased against non-progressive students.

    How does Reason support the statement above? With an article about a study that found that conservative students are not discriminated when it comes to grading.

    Duh. Of course they aren’t. Now, when it comes to which speakers they want to have on campus? The amount of fees they are charged? Their ability to speak up and be heard in the classroom? Their ability to form student groups free from harassment? Ability to distribute newspapers and other printed and digital material on campus?

    Reason, once again proving that its become a shallow rag that is only useful due to a handful of commenters.

  15. As someone who has actually been in a chokehold, I can affirm that Gardner was not in one. You cant breathe in a chokehold and thus you cant talk. If Gardner was saying he can’t breathe, that proves he could. I know this for a fact. Talking occurs when air travels over your vocal chords. No air, no talking. Its a fact. But the press ignores this in order to whip up resentment of the police. I would like to see some factual reporting for a change.

    1. Airways can be restricted enough to allow for limited talking while not allowing enough air to survive. As someone who has issues with severe allergic reactions, I’ve experienced that before and have to use an EpiPen.

  16. Actually, I think they get extra salty about it because people travel to Jersey or elsewhere and buy them for somewhat less than $20 per pack, robbing the great city and state of New York of their addict tax money.Hip Hop Musics and Videos

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