UPDATED 1:12 PM PT — Monday, August 19, 2019
The New York City Police officer at the center of Eric Garner’s death has learned his fate. On Monday, Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Officer Daniel Pantaleo has been fired from the department. His termination comes after it was determined he violated department policy when he used a prohibited chokehold against Garner back in 2014.
An administrative judge previously recommended the officer’s termination during his disciplinary trial, where he was deemed to be “untruthful” with investigators. Commissioner O’Neil said he took the recommendation into account, while his department conducted its own investigation into the incident.
“During the struggle Officer Pantaleo had the opportunity to readjust his grip from a prohibited chokehold to a less lethal alternative, but did not make use of the opportunity,” stated the police commissioner. “Instead, even once Mr. Garner was moved to his side on the ground with his left arm behind his back and his right hand still opened and extended, Officer Pantaleo kept his hands clasped and maintained the chokehold.
The latest decision marks an end to the saga, but critics say the case demonstrates the NYDP’s ongoing practices of over-aggressive policing. Panatleo’s attorney said his client will appeal the termination.