Four years after the world watched New York Police Department Officer Daniel Pantaleo kill Eric Garner as the 43-year-old Black man repeated said, “I can’t breathe,” the New York Daily News reported yesterday (November 19) that he will face a departmental hearing for his actions. Pantaleo’s initial hearing is scheduled for December 6; if it goes to trial, it will reportedly not begin before the calendar switches to 2019.
A Staten Island, New York, grand jury failed to indict the White officer, and the Department of Justice has not yet made a decision following its civil rights investigation. In the meantime, Pantaleo is on desk duty, though records show that he has received several pay increases in the years since he choked Garner to death.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, released a statement today (November 20) via email in reaction to the news of the disciplinary hearing. It appears below in full.
NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo murdered my son Eric with a chokehold that’s been banned by the NYPD for over 20 years. Pantaleo should have been fired years ago. Instead, he has been taking home a six-figure salary with overtime every year since murdering Eric. The only fair and acceptable outcome of Pantaleo’s upcoming disciplinary hearing is for a disciplinary trial to be scheduled as soon as possible, and for him to finally be fired by the NYPD. Period. If this disciplinary hearing does not lead to a trial and Pantaleo losing his job, it will be a sham and a miscarriage of justice, plain and simple. For too long, the NYPD has been protecting Pantaleo and other officers responsible for Eric’s death, as well as those who tried to cover it up. All NYPD officers responsible for killing Eric, and related misconduct, should be fired. Officer Pantaleo and Sergeant Kizzy Adonis are the only two officers who currently have pending disciplinary charges. But they are not the only NYPD officers who should lose their jobs and they are not the only ones that should be facing discipline charges. NYPD officers Justin Damico, Mark Ramos and Craig Furlani were all reportedly involved in killing my son—by either failing to intervene or compressing his chest while handcuffing him. Also, Sergeant Dhanan Saminath failed to supervise, and then reportedly lied in an official police report that Eric “did not appear to be in great distress,” a claim that anyone who has seen the shocking video of the killing is free to judge for themselves. Those are just the names of NYPD officers we know. Mayor de Blasio has allowed the NYPD to withhold the names of other officers involved in my son’s murder, who may have failed to intervene, or who tried to cover it up. It’s time for de Blasio to stop enabling a blatant NYPD cover-up that allows officers to get away with murder. The NYPD should fire Pantaleo and all of the other officers who were responsible for misconduct related to my son’s murder. In order for this to happen, de Blasio must release all of their names and ensure that the NYPD bring charges against the other officers who engaged in misconduct.