After five years of investigations and protests, New York City’s police commissioner fired an officer involved in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garnder.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill’s announced Monday Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, had been fired based on a recent recommendation of a department disciplinary judge. He said it was clear that Pantaleo “can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.”
“None of us can take back our decisions,” O’Neill said, “especially when they lead to the death of another human being.”
The recordings led to years of protests and calls by black activists and liberal politicians for Pantaleo to lose his job. City officials had long insisted, though, they couldn’t take action until criminal investigations were complete.
A state grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo in 2014. Federal authorities, however, kept a civil rights investigation open for five years before announcing last month they wouldn’t bring charges.
Pantaleo’s lawyer has insisted the officer used a reasonable amount of force and didn’t mean to hurt Garner.
New York City’s mayor has declined to say whether he believes Garner should lose his job but has been promising “justice” to the slain man’s family.
Garner’s death came at a time of a growing public outcry over police killings of unarmed black men that sparked the national Black Lives Matter movement.
Source: Associated Press