Fire Daniel Pantaleo Trial

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Activists Call On Mayor, NYPD To Fire Officer Involved In Garner Case

August 14, 2019 - 4:01 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Eric Garner’s family was joined by activists Wednesday on the steps of City Hall to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Multiple community groups gathered at City Hall to demand Pantaleo, the officer seen on video placing Garner in an alleged chokehold shortly before his 2014 death, be fired from the NYPD without any non-mandatory benefits.

They also demanded that the five other officers involved in Garner’s death be punished.

“It’s just a sad situation, that de Blasio just still continues to drag his feet on the situation and my mother has no relief nowhere,” said Garner’s sister. Ellisha Garner.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joined advocates in their cause and expressed sympathy for the Garner family.

“I think we're all kind of tired of being here actually. And I can't imagine after five years, understanding what this family has been through,” he said.

Pantaleo was placed on desk duty following his involvement in Garner’s 2014 death but was suspended earlier this month after a judge recommended he be terminated.

Cell phone video of Garner’s 2014 arrest on a Staten Island street for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes shocked the city and his final words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

A medical examiner ruled Garner's death was a homicide, but a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict any of the officers involved.

The Justice Department did not pursue civil rights charges, but the NYPD did hold a departmental trial.

The prosecution claimed Pantaleo used a prohibited chokehold. Pantaleo’s lawyer argued Garner resisted arrest and that his obesity and asthma contributed to his death.

Commissioner O’Neill has said his decision will come down before the end of the month.

Download the RADIO.COM app + favorite WCBS 880 for breaking news, traffic and weather alerts.