NYPD fired Daniel Pantaleo, the officer responsible for keeping the late Eric Garner in an illegal, fatal choke hold. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe” became the slogan for the protests against police brutality that year.
A state jury declined to indict Pantaleo on criminal charges, however, a civil rights investigation was launched in 2014. However, federal prosecutors said they weren’t charging him.
The decision to fire the disgraced officer was a recommendation by the department disciplinary judge. New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill made the announcement on Monday that Pantaleo was suspended while awaiting the commissioner’s decision.
“It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer serve as a New York City police officer,” Mr O’Neill said. “Had I been in Officer Pantaleo’s situation, I may have made similar mistakes,” he continued.
“None of us can take back our decisions,” he said, adding: “Especially when they lead to the death of another human being.”