NYPD officer in Eric Garner case fired

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2:34 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

Pantaleo's lawyer says he will appeal the decision

Daniel Pantaleo's attorney Stuart London said that he received a call notifying him that Pantaleo was being fired "about 13 minutes" before the NYPD police commissioner made the public announcement.

London, speaking at a press conference today, said that he passed the information onto Pantaleo.

"Obviously he is disappointed, upset," London said about Pantaleo's reaction. "But he has a lot of strength."

London said that Pantaleo will file an Article 78 in court to appeal the decision by the commissioner to terminate him.

"We're looking for him to get his job back," London said.
2:18 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

The Rev. Al Sharpton vows to push law to prevent chokeholds

The Rev. Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, vowed to push for congressional hearings and a law to prevent chokeholds.

Sharpton, speaking at a news conference alongside two of Eric Garner's children, said they will be asking the state to make the use of chokeholds illegal.

"We will be going to the state of New York to ask that they begin to make it illegal by law the use of the chokehold," he said. This was a New York policy, New York City Department Policy. It ought to be a state law and a federal law that chokeholds by police is punishable with a crime, not just termination."

Sharpton vowed to call on Congressman Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to investigate Garner's death.

"We continue to call for Congressman Nadler who committed congressional hearings to move forward," he said. "We need to investigate why the federal government around the country, including Eric Garner, decide not to bring cases in a federal court and let a jury decide whether or not Garner had 10,000 cigarettes. Let a jury decide whether his civil rights was (sic) violated and whether or not the police operated in a manner that robbed him of his civil rights. And the same should be of other cases around the country which is why the Judiciary Committee ought to have those public hearings starting in New York.”

Earlier in the news conference, Garner's daughter Emerald Garner vowed to push for "the Eric Garner law," which she said will ban chokeholds and "ban officers being protected by a shield and not held account for their actions."

2:16 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

Bill de Blasio: "Today we have finally seen justice done"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is also running for president, said "justice has been done" following the firing of police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is accused of fatally choking Eric Garner in 2014.

"Today, we have finally seen justice done. Today, we saw the NYPD's own disciplinary process act fairly and impartially," de Blasio said.

He said the long process has put the Garner family through "so much agony for so long."

"I hope today brings some small measure of closure," de Blasio said. "Today will not bring Eric Garner back, but I hope it brings some small measure of closure and peace to the Garner family."

2:02 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

Eric Garner's daughter after officer firing: "We will continue to fight"

Eric Garner's daughter Emerald Garner vowed to continue to fight for justice following the tragic death of her father.

"I don't want another Eric Garner. I will do everything in my power to never see another Eric Garner," she told reporters.

"I don't even want to see another video of a person being choked out. Because it wasn't supposed to happen to him. It's not supposed to happen. I should not be here standing with my brother, fatherless. I should be standing here with my father. But Pantaleo took that away from me on 7/17. Yes, he's fired. But the fight is not over. We will continue to fight."

She also thanked NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill for his decision to fire Pantaleo.

"I thank you for doing the right thing," Emerald Garner said.

1:48 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

NYPD judge's report found "grave misconduct" by officer Daniel Pantaleo

A detailed report from NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado on the death of Eric Garner found officer Daniel Pantaleo had committed "grave misconduct."

The report states "the use of the chokehold fell so far short of the objective reasonableness that this tribunal found it to be reckless — a gross deviation from the standard of conduct established for a New York City police officer. Moreover, respondent’s glaring dereliction of responsibility precipitated a tragic outcome.”

The report concluded that “there is only one appropriate penalty for the grave misconduct that yielded and equally grave result, respondent can no longer remain a New York City police officer.”

CNN obtained the report, which was issued earlier this month after the conclusion of an NYPD trial into Pantaleo's conduct. The report was obtained from a source familiar with the matter.

What we know about Maldonado decision: Pantaleo faced two charges during his departmental trial: use of a chokehold and restricting breathing. Maldonado mulled over the circumstances surrounding both charges for her ruling since the final day of deliberation in June.

As part of her ruling, Maldonado had to review the footage of Garner’s arrest in very fine detail. She focused in on the moments after Pantaleo takes down Garner. Pantaleo is seen on Garner’s back with one arm wrapped around his neck when he brings his other arm around and clasps them together, locking in the hold.

Pantaleo was trained not to use chokeholds while he was a rookie in 2006, according to the source. And Maldonado felt Pantaleo’s use of the move was both reckless and she states, “respondents egregious misconduct led to the deadly consequences his training anticipated and which the prohibition was designed to prevent.”

During the departmental trial, lawyers for Pantaleo argued that Garner’s neck was in the crook of his elbow and there was no pressure on his windpipe but rather on the sides of his neck, constituting a sleeper hold. Despite this, Maldonado ruled that while he was on top of Garner, he could have used a different tactic, not one that was banned by the NYPD.

But despite Maldonado’s ruling on Pantaleo’s use of the chokehold, she found that he was not guilty of restricting Garner’s breathing. The second charge had more to do with intent, meaning there needed to be clear intent to prevent someone from breathing in order for the charge to stick. But since Pantaleo made other attempts to subdue Garner with other NYPD approved tactics before the chokehold was applied, such as an arm bar, Maldonado ruled that it wasn’t Pantaleo’s goal to stop Garner from breathing.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill used this report as a guideline when making his decision to fire officer Pantaleo, which he announced at a news conference this afternoon.

1:12 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

NYC police union says commissioner chose "his own self-interest over the police officers"

The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, a police union that represents nearly 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers, has put out a statement on the dismissal of Daniel Pantaleo.

PBA President Patrick Lynch said that Commissioner James O’Neill has “chosen politics and his own self-interest over the police officers he claims to lead.”

"The damage is already done. The NYPD will remain rudderless and frozen, and Commissioner O’Neill will never be able to bring it back. Now it is time for every PO in this city to make their own choice,” Lynch said in the statement.

Here is the union's full statement:

1:02 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

Daniel Pantaleo wasn't told of his firing ahead of time, NYPD commissioner says

Daniel Pantaleo was not informed of his dismissal ahead of time, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said. 

O’Neill said that he has no plans to speak with Pantaleo.

12:56 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

NYPD commissioner: There are "absolutely no victors here today"

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said he “examined the totality of the circumstances and relied on the facts,” noting he believes he reached the right decision.

“In this case the unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own. Therefore I agree with the Deputy Commissioner of Trial’s legal findings and recommendations. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City Police Officer,” O’Neill said.

“In carrying out the court’s verdict in this case, I take no pleasure. I know that many will disagree with this decision, and that is their right. There are absolutely no victors here today. Not the Garner family, not the community at large, and certainly not the courageous men and women of the Police Department who put their own lives on the line every single day in service to the people of this great city. Today is a day of reckoning, but can also be a day of reconciliation,” O’Neill said.
12:53 p.m. ET, August 19, 2019

NYPD commissioner: "Make no mistake about it, this is a tragedy for the Garner family"

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill was just asked what he'd say to the family of Eric Garner.

Here's how he responded:

"From day one, we said that there was going to be a fair and impartial trial. This is the result. Make no mistake about it, this is a tragedy for the Garner family. I fully understand that. Mr. Garner was somebody's son, somebody's dad. Everybody in the NYPD understands that."