Published: Sat, August 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Eric Garner's Widow: Mayor de Blasio 'Full of Malarkey'

Eric Garner's Widow: Mayor de Blasio 'Full of Malarkey'

NYPD Deputy Commissioner and departmental administrative judge Rosemarie Maldonado oversaw the disciplinary process for Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was accused of contributing to the death of Eric Garner, 43, during an arrest on July 17, 2014.

Garner's family spoke alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton Friday morning, calling on O'Neill to act on the judge's recommendation.

Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in a statement Friday that if O'Neill goes along with the recommendation, "it will paralyze the NYPD for years to come". "He knows that if he affirms this horrendous decision, he will lose his police department".

"This judge ignored the evidence and trampled P.O. Pantaleo's due process rights in order to deliver the result that the grandstanding politicians and protesters demanded", his statement read.

"Officer Pantaleo should be fired".

Pantaleo's lawyer, Stuart London, has said the officer did not use a chokehold, and did not violate NYPD procedures in making the arrest.

He will have until the end of August to reach that decision, after prosecutors and defence lawyers respond to the judge's ruling.

Mayor Bill de Blasio planned to address the media Friday afternoon.

"As you all can I tell, I'm very angry", Emerald Snipes said after the Department of Justice's decision not to hold Pantaleo accountable.

New York Attorney General Letitia James urged the police commissioner and the mayor to fire Pantaleo "to ensure our communities finally feel some semblance of justice".

Department spokesman Phillip Walzak said Pantaleo's suspension was standard in disciplinary cases where termination is recommended.

Garner was pulled to the ground by police during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes in July 2014. Garner's repeated cry of "I can't breathe" triggered national outrage and galvanized activists concerned about police use of force. Standing outside protesting. She called the Civilian Complaints Review Board (CCRB) meetings and they didn't do their job.

The Garner case exposed divisions even inside the Justice Department, where NY prosecutors and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents felt charges were not warranted, while civil rights division prosecutors at Justice Department headquarters argued for an indictment of Pantaleo.

"Eric Garner's family has waited too long for justice - we need more civilian oversight to hold police accountable when they fail", the MA senator tweeted.

Last month, federal prosecutors announced they would not bring criminal charges against Pantaleo following a five-year civil rights investigation.

His death was ruled a homicide by New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; none of the police officers involved have been charged with a crime.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for president, has come under fire for his handling of the case.

Pantaleo initially tried to use two approved restraint tactics on Garner, much larger at 188 centimetres and about 180 kilograms but ended up wrapping his arm around Garner's neck for about seven seconds as they struggled against a glass storefront window and fell to the sidewalk.

Pantaleo's lawyer will have about two weeks to submit a response before Police Commissioner James O'Neill makes a final decision on punishment.

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