The police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner was fired on Monday for “recklessness,” the New York Police Department commissioner announced during a press conference.
Commissioner James O’Neill made the decision to terminate Daniel Pantaleo based on the recommendation from a department judge who reviewed the case. In announcing the decision, he cited Deputy Commissioner of Trial Rosemarie Maldonado’s assessment of Pataleo’s “recklessness” as rationale for his decision, while also defending the officer’s intentions. O’Neill also briefly criticized Garner for resisting arrest.
“No one believes that Officer Pantaleo got out of bed on July 17, 2014 thinking he would make choices and take actions during an otherwise routine arrest that would lead to another person’s death. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer. But an officer’s choices and actions even made under extreme pressure matter. It is unlikely that Mr. Garner thought he was in such poor health that a brief struggle with the police would lead to his death. He should’ve decided against resisting arrest, but a man with a family lost his life. That is an irreversible tragedy. A hard-working police officer with a family and a man who took this job to do good, to make a difference in his home community has now lost his chosen career. And that is different kind of tragedy. 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.”
Last month, Attorney General Bill Barr opted not to pursue federal civil rights charges against Pantaleo.
Watch a clip of the announcement below:
NYPD announces officer involved in Eric Garner's death will be fired pic.twitter.com/IAD1e5sXRo
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 19, 2019