NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) – The white NEW YORK officer who used a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner throughout a 2014 arrest was fired on Monday, five years after video from the encounter fueled nationwide protests against police brutality. Daniel Pantaleo, 34, was fired fourteen days following a department judge found him guilty of reckless assault for utilizing a banned chokehold while attempting to arrest Garner, an unarmed black man, on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Garner’s dying words, “I cannot breathe!”, on the Staten Island sidewalk became a rallying cry with the Black Lives Matter movement that aimed to call focus on police killings of unarmed black people. Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced his decision to simply accept the judge’s recommendation and fire Pantaleo at the news conference on Monday. He spoke at length in unusually emotional remarks, saying he previously empathy for Pantaleo, who was simply following orders from his supervisors to crack down on loose cigarette sales, and he expected cops would question his decision. O’Neill said, discussing a lot more than three decades he served to be a uniformed officer.
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Pantaleo’s usage of a banned chokehold on July 17, 2014, even though only for a couple of seconds, meant he could no more “effectively serve” as the city officer, O’Neill said. Garner’s family and civil rights activists said your choice was long overdue. The top from the powerful city police officers’ union decried what he said was a politicized firing that left officers feeling abandoned. Patrick Lynch, president of the authorities Benevolent Association, told a news conference, standing before a department flag that were symbolically inverted. He sent a letter to union members telling those to adhere closely towards the patrol guide and steer clear of making arrests until a patrol supervisor is summoned for the scene unless there is a threat alive and safety. Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, had long sought to distance himself from your case. Criticism over just how long the process has had nonetheless dogged him as he campaigns round the country to function as Democratic party nominee in next year’s presidential election.
Blasio told a news conference. In a news conference uptown with all the civil rights leader Al Sharpton, Garner’s daughter Emerald wore a T-shirt with “MURDERER” emblazoned over the front. Garner’s family have already been frustrated that Pantaleo never faced prosecution and say other officers and supervisors mixed up in arrest also needs to be punished. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, told reporters beyond your police department’s headquarters in lower Manhattan. A grand jury in Staten Island declined to indict Pantaleo on state criminal charges in 2014. The U.S. Department of Justice examined the situation for a long time, but announced in July it could not prosecute Pantaleo, saying there is insufficient evidence he breached Garner’s rights. In 2015, NEW YORK paid a $5.9 million settlement to Garner’s family in order to avoid a civil lawsuit. Pantaleo himself have not publicly discussed the arrest, and his whereabouts on Monday were unclear. Stuart London, Pantaleo’s lawyer, told reporters, without elaborating. Pantaleo would challenge his firing, London said.
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