NYPD’s O’Neill Faces Decision on Chokehold Officer

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Family members of New York City chokehold victim Eric Garner demanded the firing of police officer Daniel Pantaleo after a departmental judge called for his dismissal, a ruling that brings the polarizing five-year legal drama closer to its conclusion, the New York Daily News reports. “I think I’m feeling the same way our entire family is feeling, which is it’s been too long,” said Garner’s daughter, Emerald Snipes-Garner, after the NYPD suspended Pantaleo following the judge’s decision. “Commissioner [James] O’Neill, do your job. We’ve been waiting for five years, and we don’t want to wait no more.”

Pantaleo has remained on duty and on the NYPD payroll since July 17, 2014, despite repeated calls for his firing. NYPD insiders expect Commissioner O’Neill to fire Pantaleo, who has been assigned to a desk job minus his gun and shield since Garner’s death. Garner’s dying declaration of “I can’t breathe,” repeated 11 times as he was being arrested, galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement. Police Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch charged that the city’s 36,000 officers no longer have the support of City Hall. Lynch declared Friday, “The decision that went down today, saying that police officer was reckless, is ludicrous.” Garner and the Civilian Complaint Review Board each have 10 business days to review the judge’s recommendation and respond before the file goes to O’Neill for final disposition. The board quickly urged the commissioner to “uphold this verdict and dismiss Pantaleo.”

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