Officer Who Killed Eric Garner Had a History of Misconduct

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 07: Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, joins activists, community leaders and other family members who have lost loved ones in incidents involving the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in a demonstration in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo's office on July 7, 2015 in New York City. The protesters were demanding that Cuomo exercise his executive power to authorise the appointment of a special prosecutor to examine and prosecute police killings. New York City is is preparing for the one year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner who was killed in the borough of Staten Island by a police officer after he placed him in a controversial choke-hold after he was accused of selling loose cigarettes.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Officer Who Killed Eric Garner Had a History of Misconduct

Find out why Daniel Pantaleo thought he was above the law.

Published April 6, 2016

The NYPD officer who became infamous after killing Eric Garner in 2014 was disciplined today for conducting an improper stop-and-frisk. While it is an incomparable infringement to what he did to Garner, it shows that officer Daniel Pantaleo continues to think he's above the law while wearing a uniform.

As reported by the New York Daily News, Pantaleo is being disciplined for "a bogus stop, question, and frisk," and will be docked two of his vacation days for the infraction. While the event itself occurred on June 7, 2012, a decision on how Pantaleo was to be disciplined wasn't reached until March 11, 2015. NYPD decided that the stop itself was justified, but concluded that he had abused "his authority in that he frisked a person known to the department without sufficient legal authority."

The fact that this incident took place two years before Garner was murdered reveals a gross lack of timely punishment when it comes to police officers indicating the potential for violent, rule-breaking behavior. While an unlawful stop-and-frisk is far less violent than the fatal headlock Pantaleo forced Garner in, it could have served as a predictor for his treatment of those he deems as criminals.

Pantaleo's name became known across the country in July 2014 when he was caught on camera putting Eric Garner in a chokehold the resulted in Garner's death. Garner had been stopped in Staten Island because officers believed he was selling loose cigarettes. Garner's dying words, "I can't breath," became a slogan used in protests and demonstrations across the country. 

Pantaleo continues to walk free thanks to the Staten Island grand jury that declined to indict him for the murder of Eric Garner. While federal prosecutors may still decide to open a civil rights case against him, it appears that the only punishment he will serve right now, is two days less vacation time.

New Yorkers, members of the Black community, and Garner's family themselves are still searching for justice when it comes to his loss. See how they continue their pursuit with BET News:


(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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