- Title: New York police officer fired for deadly 2014 chokehold on Eric Garner
- Date: 19th August 2019
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 19, 2019) (REUTERS) NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER, JAMES O'NEILL, WALKING TO LECTERN (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER, JAMES O'NEILL, SAYING: "In this case the unintended consequence of Mr. Garner's death must have a consequence of its own. Therefore, I agree with the deputy commissioner of trials, legal findings and recommendations. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer. In carrying out the court's verdict in this case, I take no pleasure. I know that many will disagree with this decision, and that is their right. There are absolutely no victors here today - not the Garner family, not the community at-large, and certainly not the courageous men and women of the police department who put their own lives on the line every single day in service and to the people of this great city." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER, JAMES O'NEILL, SAYING: "No one believes that Officer Pantaleo got out of bed on July 17th 2014 thinking he would make choices and take actions during an otherwise routine arrest that would lead to another person's death. But an officer's choices and actions, even made under extreme pressure, matter. It is unlikely that Mr. Gardner thought he was in such poor health that a brief struggle with the police would cause his death. He should have decided against resisting arrest, but a man with family lost his life and that is an irreversible tragedy. And a hardworking police officer with a family - a man who took this job to do good, to make a difference in his home community - has now lost his chosen career." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER, JAMES O'NEILL, SAYING: "Today's a day of reckoning, but can also be a day of reconciliation. We must move forward together as one city, determined to secure a safety for all - safety for all New Yorkers and safety for every police officer working daily to protect all of us." REPORTERS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER, JAMES O'NEILL, SAYING: "I've been a cop a long time. And if I was still a cop, I'd probably be mad at me. I would. You're not looking out for us, but I am. It's my responsibility as police commissioner to look out for the city and certainly to look out for the New York City police officers. They took this job to make a difference. And you all know the city's been transformed, had a lot of help, but it's the cops out there right now and the thousands that have come before us that continue to make this city safe. Some will be angry, and I have a great executive staff. These police officers do a terrific job each and every day. And we'll have to work through this. It's a resilient organization." NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (RECENT - JULY 17, 2019) (REUTERS) GARNER'S MOTHER, GWEN GARNER, AND OTHERS PROTESTERS CHANTING, "HEY, HEY, HO, HO, PANTALEO HAS GOT TO GO," WHILE HOLDING BANNER PROTESTER HOLDING SIGN BEHIND GWEN CARR, READING (English): 'ERIC GARNER SAID HE COULDN'T BREATHE 11 TIMES!' NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (RECENT - JULY 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS AT CITY HALL, CHANTING, "BLACK LIVES MATTER," HOLDING SIGNS READING (English)" 'FIRE PANTALEO,' (SOUNDBITE) (English) ERIC GARNER'S MOTHER, GWEN CARR, SAYING: "Mayor, Mayor de Blasio, do your job. Fire these officers. I'm calling for them to be fired today, today. You don't have to wait for anything else. You see the DOJ (Department of Justice), they failed us."
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2019 17:54
- Keywords: Eric Garner I can't breathe New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo Gwen Carr Police Commissioner James O'Neill
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA001ASVWKSN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The white New York Police Department officer who used a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner while trying to arrest him in 2014, giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement, was fired on Monday (August 19), Commissioner James O'Neill said.
The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was suspended earlier this month after a departmental judge ruled that the officer should be fired. He had previously been on desk duty since he was seen in widely viewed cellphone videos using a banned chokehold on Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk during an attempted arrest.
Police believed Garner was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
Garner's repeated dying cries of "I can't breathe," widely viewed on social media, became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement, which protests what its leaders call the disparate use of excessive force against black people across the United States.
His death, and the slow-moving investigations that followed, have generated some of the harshest criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio during his tenure and have spilled over into his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The case tested the liberal mayor's relationships with both civil rights activists, who have long complained that the city's black and Latino residents are harassed by police, and the rank-and-file police officers who work for him, some of whom say they have been made scapegoats by his office.
Firing was one of the few punishments left available. A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo in 2014 on criminal charges, and federal prosecutors said last month they would not bring charges because there was insufficient evidence.
In 2015, New York City paid a $5.9 million settlement to Garner's family to avoid a civil lawsuit.
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