New York Police Department Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be terminated following his controversial involvement in the death of Eric Garner, a departmental administrative judge officially recommended Friday, city officials said.
His death, and the slow-moving investigations that followed, have generated some of the harshest criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio during his tenure and have spilled over into his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"The View's" Twitter page shared the live coverage of the presser.
Garner's family spoke alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton Friday morning, calling on O'Neill to act on the judge's recommendation.
"Commissioner O'Neill, fire Pantaleo", she pleaded. "That's all we're asking". Garner ultimately suffocated. He told the officers, "I can't breathe", which later became a rallying cry among supporters and activists.
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Mayor de Blasio is apparently trying to stay out of the decision, at least publicly.
Lawyers for Pantaleo argue he placed Garner in a seatbelt hold, not a chokehold, which is banned by the NYPD. A medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide and determined that the chokehold was responsible for setting off the sequence of events that resulted in his death.
The verdict, which is non-binding, found Pantaleo, 33, guilty of using a chokehold on Garner but not guilty of aggravated assault.
The details of Maldonado's report were not disclosed, but Civilian Complaint Review Board Chairman Fred Davie said the judge's recommendation confirms what the agency had argued at the trial: that Pantaleo's use of a chokehold caused Garner's death.
The seven-day departmental trial, which began in May, was not a criminal proceeding but a matter before an NYPD administrative judge.
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Lynch warned that if O'Neill fires Pantaleo, he will lose the support of the rank-and-file officers.
"Eric Garner's family has waited too long for justice - we need more civilian oversight to hold police accountable when they fail", the MA senator tweeted. He responded by saying the Garner family will have justice within "the next 30 days".
In this May 13, 2019, file photo, New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo leaves his house in Staten Island, N.Y. Time is running out for federal prosecutors to take action in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, the unarmed black man heard on video crying "I can't breathe" after Pantaleo put him in an apparent chokehold.
Lynch, of the police union, said at the time that the mayor had "blood on his hands" over the killings.
The father of six, who weighed more than 350lb (160kg), went into cardiac arrest and died en route to the hospital after he was subdued by five police officers. A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo in 2014 on criminal charges, and federal prosecutors said last month they would not bring charges because there was insufficient evidence. The delay was due to the city's desire to avoid interfering in the ongoing federal civil rights investigation. The protesters took issue with the fact that de Blasio had not taken a public stance on whether or not Pantaleo should be fired.
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