Tensions have been running high this week in New York City as people have been anticipating a decision from a judge in relation to NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo and the officer-involved death of Eric Garner five years ago. On Friday, the judge ruled that Pantaleo should be fired from the department as a result of the Garner case.
NBC New York reports that the judge ruled that Pantaleo was guilty of using an impermissible chokehold on Garner during their altercation in July 2014. As a result of using that chokehold, the judge determined, the NYPD officer should be fired.
Immediately after the judge’s ruling, Pantaleo was reportedly suspended for 30 days without pay, a move that begins immediately. For the past five years, the NYPD officer has been on modified administrative duty.
The judge’s decision does not necessarily provide the final word on this case, though. Both Pantaleo’s legal team, as well as lawyers for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, will be given the chance to meet with the judge to discuss the ruling. After that, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill would have the power to make the final determination on whether Pantaleo is fired or not.
The opportunity to meet with the judge needs to be utilized within two weeks before the decision moves on to O’Neill.
BREAKING: Administrative judge recommends that Daniel Pantaleo, NYPD officer at center of the Eric Garner case, should be fired from the department, sources say. https://t.co/R1IBxueP2U
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 2, 2019
In the wake of the judge’s decision, the Police Benevolent Association quickly expressed its outrage. The union represents Pantaleo and they did not mince words in criticizing the ruling.
“This decision is pure political insanity. If it is allowed to stand, it will paralyze the NYPD for years to come.”
As NBC News details, Garner’s daughter Emerald Garner Snipes praised the judge’s ruling in a press conference held after the news emerged.
“This has been a long battle. Five years too long. And finally, someone has said this cop has done something wrong.”
The Inquisitr recently shared that the Department of Justice had announced that it would not pursue charges against Pantaleo. This DOJ decision generated strong reactions throughout the city and even sparked chants directed toward Mayor Bill DeBlasio during the 2020 presidential debates earlier this week.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 2, 2019
Garner died after a physical struggle with Pantaleo in Staten Island five years ago. The NYPD officer put Garner into a chokehold and Garner was heard expressing 11 times that he could not breathe.
The incident took place after Garner had been approached by the police for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on the sidewalk. During the confrontation, Garner lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead at the hospital about an hour later.
It will take some time yet to see whether NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo ultimately is fired from as a result of the judge’s ruling. However, it seems that many people throughout the city are celebrating what they see as some level of justice for Eric Garner.