The police officer who placed Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold wants to return to patrolling the streets.
"The unbelievable part is this has not soured him one bit on doing law enforcement," said Stuart London, Daniel Pantaleo's lawyer. "It hasn't diminished his desire to help the citizens of this city."
Although Pantaleo’s request may be denied, officers accused of misconduct are rarely disciplined or fired. Out of nearly 11,000 officers in the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project’s database, only 3,238 officers were involved in legal action. In addition, only 12 percent of 3,238 served jail time.
A separate Justice Department investigation into the Garner case is ongoing. Yet, London is confident that his client will be cleared of all charges.
“They have to prove my client had a specific intent to deprive Eric Garner of a federally protected constitutional right,” London told The Daily News, “Based on all the pertinent information I have, they don’t reach that threshold in this case.”
In July 2014, a grand jury decided to not file charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo. In the video footage of the incident, asthmatic Garner can be heard telling Pantaleo, "I can't breathe." Garner was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead an hour later.
Prior to the Garner case, Pantaleo was involved in three separate civil rights cases. All were brought against him by African-American citizens involved in altercations with him and his officers.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Family photo via National Action Network)