Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer whose applied a prohibited chokehold to Eric Garner in 2014, has been fired from the Police Department. Pantaleo’s dismissal on Monday, ended a five-year long legal battle regarding the death of Eric Garner.
Eric Garner died on July 17, 2014, when police approached him on suspicion of selling single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps. During the stop, Pantaleo tackled him from behind and applied a chokehold. Pantaleo, along with other officers, pressed him down on the pavement until Garner become unresponsive.
Pantealeo was dismissed by NY police commissioner, James P. O’Neill after a police administrative judge found him guilty of violating a department ban on chokeholds about 2 weeks ago.
“The unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Therefore I agree with the deputy commissioner of trial’s legal findings and recommendations. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.”
The leader of the city’s largest police union immediately denounced the decision, saying Mr. O’Neill had bowed to “anti-police extremists” and that Mr. Pantaleo’s dismissal sent a message that the city did not stand behind its officers when they make arrests.
“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,” the Police Benevolent Association president, Patrick J. Lynch, said in a statement. “We will uphold our oath, but we cannot and will not do so by needlessly jeopardizing our careers or personal safety.”