It has been 5 years since Garner, 43, died from an asthma attack caused by a chokehold from New York City police officers. “I can’t breathe,” were the words Garner cried out 11 times before he fell unresponsive.
However, on July 16 the Department of Justice ruled that no criminal charges were to be filed against NYPD officer Pantaleo.
Although, two weeks ago the 13-year NYPD officer was suspended after a departmental verdict was confirmed. As of late, Pantaleo has been on desk duty while his case reached its head.
Administrative judge, Rosemarie Maldonado, who supervised Pantaleo’s disciplinary trial recommended he be fired after the confrontation with Garner over the selling of loose, untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island.
The NYPD mentioned in a statement that: “All of New York City understandably seeks closure to this difficult chapter in our City’s history. Premature statements or judgments before the process is complete however cannot and will not be made.”
Commissioner James O’Neill, who made the Aug. 19 decision, spoke about the deadly arrest, blaming both officer Pantaleo and Garner: "Every time I watch that video I say to myself ... 'to Mr. Garner, don't do it. Comply. Officer Pantaleo, don't do it.’”
O’Neill also mentioned that if he were still a fellow officer, he would be upset about the NYPD’s decision to get rid of Pantaleo:
"It's my responsibility as police commissioner to look out for the city and certainly to look out for New York City police officers. They took this job to make a difference. You all know the city has been transformed — had a lot of help, but it's the cops out there right now and the thousands that have come before who that continue to make this city safe."
During a press conference in Harlem one of Garner’s daughters, Emerald Snipes Garner thanked supporters and Commissioner O’Neill for the long-awaited decision:
"Commissioner O'Neill, I thank you for doing the right thing...I truly, sincerely thank you for firing the officer, regardless of how however you came up to your decision."
Our thoughts are with the Garners.
(Photo: Bilgin Sasmaz/Getty Images)
TRENDING IN NEWS