The NYPD officer accused of fatally choking Eric Garner could soon be much closer to learning his career fate

A judge recommended that the NYPD should terminate the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, according to a source with direct knowledge of the decision.

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 4:20 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2019 4:20 PM

The New York Police Department officer at the center of the arrest that allegedly led to Eric Garner's death is expected to learn as early as Friday the latest decision in a process that could end his career, two senior law enforcement officials and a city official told CNN.

Daniel Pantaleo's career has been in jeopardy since he was caught on video in July 2014 putting the unarmed black father in an alleged chokehold. Now, after a spring disciplinary trial, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado is expected to deliver, perhaps by week's end, her recommendation on whether Pantaleo should be terminated to Police Commissioner James O'Neill and officials with the city agency charged with NYPD oversight.

Civilian Complaint Review Board leaders and Pantaleo's attorney then will have about two weeks to draft a response, and O'Neill has the final say; he's never hinted at what he may do. The crux of the case remains whether Pantaleo used a chokehold, which is banned by the NYPD; the officer denies he used the move.

The internal police process comes to a head just weeks after Attorney General William Barr declined to bring federal charges against the embattled officer. The issue of Pantaleo's employment also took center stage during Wednesday night's Democratic primary debate, as protesters screamed, "Fire Pantaleo!" while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the stage with other candidates for president.

"There's going to be justice. I have confidence in that," de Blasio said during the debate, adding that Pantaleo's professional fate should be decided within the next 30 days. "For the first time, we are not waiting on the federal Justice Department, which told the city of New York that we could not proceed because the Justice Department was pursuing their prosecution."

O'Neill weighed in Thursday morning on the overall timetable for the pending Pantaleo decision.

"I'm anticipating that that should come shortly, you know, within the next week or two, and then we'll move forward," O'Neill said on the "The Joe Piscopo Show" on AM 970 The Answer.

'This is what democracy looks like'

Garner died on July 17, 2014, after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six, who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes illegally on Staten Island, a crime for which he previously he had been arrested.

Garner's friend, Ramsey Orta, recorded the confrontation on his cell phone as it quickly escalated.

In the video, Pantaleo can be seen wrapping one arm around Garner's shoulder and the other around his neck before jerking him back and pulling him to the ground. As Pantaleo forces Garner's head into the sidewalk, Garner can be heard saying, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe."

Federal investigators began examining the circumstances of Garner's death in 2014, after a grand jury in New York declined to indict the Staten Island officer. The city settled with Garner's estate in 2015 for $5.9 million.

Meanwhile, Pantaleo has been on desk duty since the incident.

Activists and lawyers for the Civilian Complaint Review Board call the maneuver Pantaleo used on Garner an illegal chokehold. But union officials and the officer's lawyers describe it as a "seatbelt hold" -- a takedown move taught to rookies at the police academy -- and blame Garner's death on his poor health.

"Mr. Garner died from being morbidly obese" and having other health issues, Pantaleo's attorney, Stuart London, said earlier this year. "He was a ticking time bomb and set these facts in motion by resisting arrest."

Garner's death brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront in New York, with protesters marching in the streets. Five years later, Garner's death remains a fervent topic locally and on the national stage.

"To the protestors in the audience today: I heard you. I saw you. I thank you," de Blasio tweeted. "This is what democracy looks like and no one said it was pretty."

Garner's daugher, Emerald Garner.,told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that she didn't know protestors were going to yell during the presidential debate. But she said she regarded it as a powerful moment - not only because it put her family's pain on a national stage, but because it's the same thing she said she has been screaming for the past five years.

"I will continue to say 'Fire Pantaleo,'" Garner said. "I will continue to call for someone to make a decision. As I said, I don't care who makes the decision, someone needs to make the decision now."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 65436

Reported Deaths: 1848
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5487116
DeSoto352328
Madison238763
Harrison237835
Rankin222032
Jackson220142
Jones184258
Forrest172155
Washington158237
Lauderdale139090
Lee133232
Neshoba127891
Lamar118414
Bolivar116333
Oktibbeha109037
Lowndes103935
Warren100731
Scott98720
Panola98012
Sunflower96723
Copiah94128
Lafayette93714
Leflore89362
Pike87734
Holmes86348
Grenada83021
Yazoo80712
Pontotoc7918
Lincoln79041
Leake77925
Simpson77930
Wayne74921
Monroe74751
Coahoma69711
Tate69227
Marion63819
Marshall6389
Covington60713
Winston60415
Adams60225
Union56215
George5484
Newton53511
Pearl River52037
Attala51324
Walthall48919
Noxubee44411
Chickasaw44119
Tallahatchie40710
Calhoun4009
Claiborne39913
Smith39413
Prentiss3869
Alcorn3825
Clay38214
Jasper3819
Hancock36314
Tishomingo3505
Itawamba33710
Tippah32513
Clarke32425
Tunica3176
Montgomery3073
Yalobusha30710
Lawrence3067
Humphreys28211
Carroll25411
Quitman2401
Greene23111
Kemper22815
Jefferson Davis2266
Amite2206
Perry2207
Webster21612
Jefferson1946
Wilkinson19413
Sharkey1903
Stone1633
Benton1330
Choctaw1304
Franklin1162
Issaquena251
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12486232
Mobile9420204
Montgomery6449148
Madison516130
Tuscaloosa405769
Baldwin338023
Unassigned319060
Shelby316432
Marshall306034
Lee258844
Morgan229517
Etowah204128
DeKalb174513
Calhoun167213
Elmore167238
Walker149864
Houston134812
Dallas130523
St. Clair128915
Russell12772
Limestone126113
Franklin123820
Cullman118912
Colbert114113
Lauderdale112315
Autauga105021
Escambia104416
Talladega96713
Jackson9244
Tallapoosa84179
Chambers83538
Dale80223
Blount7593
Butler75635
Chilton7456
Coffee7365
Covington71620
Pike6877
Lowndes56724
Barbour5655
Marion56224
Marengo53614
Clarke4949
Hale46426
Bullock45011
Winston44011
Perry4364
Wilcox41410
Bibb4134
Monroe4084
Randolph39410
Conecuh37810
Pickens3779
Sumter36018
Lawrence3321
Macon32013
Washington32012
Crenshaw3123
Choctaw27712
Cherokee2587
Greene24911
Henry2493
Geneva2480
Clay2375
Lamar2122
Fayette1835
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 93°
Columbus
Clear
93° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 99°
Oxford
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 92°
Starkville
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 88°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather