New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board is finally moving ahead with disciplinary proceedings against two officers involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner. This Tuesday, exactly four years after his death, Garner’s mother held a press conference to demand the officers involved in her son’s death be fired.
“It’s been four years and my family has not seen any real action taken by the [Bill] de Blasio administration for police misconduct,” Gwen Carr said at a news conference on the steps of City Hall with elected officials and activists.
“We want you to fire those officers who were involved,” she said, directing her ire toward de Blasio.
Garner died after police subdued him with a chokehold while he was selling cigarettes on the street. A New York City grand jury declined to prosecute the officer responsible back in December of 2014. At the time, Allahpundit pointed out that plenty of legal eagles on the right as well as the left were curious why the officer wasn’t indicted for a lesser charge like manslaughter. Garner’s family later reached a $5.9 million wrongful death settlement with the city, but the officer who choked him, Daniel Pantaleo, is still on the force, albeit working desk duty.
Monday, the day before Garner’s mother held her press conference, New York City informed the Department of Justice that it was ready to move forward with disciplinary proceedings. The DOJ responded by saying they needn’t have waited. From NBC News:
In a letter to the Justice Department on Monday, the NYPD said it would no longer pause internal disciplinary proceedings if the federal government had not said by Aug. 31 whether it plans to file criminal charges.
“Understandably, members of the public in general and the Garner family in particular have grown impatient with the fact that NYPD has not proceeded with our disciplinary proceedings and they have difficult comprehending a decision to defer to a federal criminal investigation that seems to have no end in sight,” the police department’s deputy commissioner for legal matters, Lawrence Byrne, said in the letter.
He added that the police department had “come to the conclusion that given the extraordinary passage of time since the incident without a final decision on the U.S. DOJ’s criminal investigation, any further delay in moving ahead with our own disciplinary proceedings can no longer be justified.”
In a statement to NBC News, a Justice Department spokesman said: “As officials at the Department of Justice informed Mr. Byrne this spring, the New York Police Department may move forward with their disciplinary proceedings as they deem appropriate.”
It almost sounds as if de Blasio is looking to blame the DOJ for the delay. Garner’s mother called the de Blasio administration out on Tuesday, “The de Blasio administration should never have waited for four years or until September because the idea that NYPD couldn’t have acted before DOJ has always been a lie.”
In any case, the NYPD is finally going to move forward with disciplinary proceedings before the Civilian Complaint Review Board. CNN reports:
The proceedings involving Officer Daniel Pantaleo and Sgt. Kizzy Adonis will commence in the coming days, an NYPD department spokesman confirms…
“They (NYPD) first have to serve my client with departmental charges and that hasn’t happened yet,” Stuart London, Pantaleo’s attorney told CNN.
He expects his client to be served within the next two weeks, and said the next steps will be the scheduling of discovery and then the selection of a trial date.
Pantaleo is “looking forward to being vindicated,” London said.
I’m not convinced Pantaleo is going to be vindicated. I don’t think the officer intended to kill Garner, but the chokehold he used was illegal and a man died as a result. I suspect, at a minimum, he’s going to lose his job, though with the police union involved I guess you never know what could happen.