NYPD Officer Fired Over Eric Garner Death

Daniel Pantaleo: image from The Daily Beast

Daniel Pantaleo: image from The Daily Beast

Amanda Mourelatos, Reporter

“I can’t breathe,” said Eric Garner with his dying breath, his neck seized by former officer Daniel Pantaleo‘s arm, sending him into a cardiac arrest. Garner passed in a hospital on Sunday, July 17th, 2014, and his life has been fought for to this day. In the Black Lives Matter movement, his last 3 words were chanted in honor of his passing and in rebellion of what they were marching for: change.

The Black Lives Matter Movement: image from The Washington Post

“The unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own,” said NYPD commissioner, James O’Neill. With that said, the decision was made that Pantaleo “can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.” He’d been serving for 13 years on the force and has had desk duty since the incident in 2014. This decision was made two weeks after he was found guilty of breaching the ban on choke holds, on Monday, August 18th, 2019.

The 2014 incident: image from ABC News

The Garner family and other followers believed that he and the other officers involved with Garner’s death should be punished. Eric’s daughter, Emerald Snipes Garner, said, “Commissioner O’Neill, I thank you for doing the right thing. I truly and sincerely thank you for firing the officer.” Eric’s mother, Gwen Carr, said, “Pantaleo, you may have lost your job, but I lost a son.”

As the world changes, we have to change with it. Patrick J. Lynch, the Police Benevolent Association president, explains, “We are urging all New York City police officers to proceed with the utmost caution in this new reality, in which they may be deemed ‘reckless’ just for doing their job.”

Although this seems like case closed, the Garner family wants the criminal case reopened, and Pantaleo’s lawyer said he’ll plead.