The lawyers for Officer Daniel Pantaleo enter One Police Plaza before his trial

Yana Paskova / Stringer

Pantaleo Departmental Trial Continues With Revelation Of Text Message From Commanding Officer

May 17, 2019 - 8:50 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) Lt. Christopher Bannon’s text was displayed on a big screen TV by the prosecutor on the fourth day of testimony at the departmental trial of Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.

Bannon was the commanding officer at the 120th precinct on the night of Eric Garner’s death.

There were audible gasps in the courtroom upon seeing Bannon responded “Not a  big deal,” when one of the officers at the scene told him Garner was most likely dead on arrival after he’d been wrestled to the ground.

RELATED: Pantaleo Trial: Medical Examiner Says Chokehold Caused Garner’s Death

Garner’s mother Gwen Carr was aghast after seeing the text message, saying, “No big deal. If one of your loved ones or one of his loved ones was on the ground dead and someone come up to you and say, 'it's no big deal,' how would you feel about it. I think this officer should be off the force."

Pressed to explain his message, Bannon said he was trying to reassure the officer that he was executing a lawful arrest.

RELATED: Pantaleo Trial: NYPD Training Official Says Garner Video Shows ‘Chokehold’

The medical examiner, who did the autopsy on Garner, testified earlier in the week that the chokehold led to the asthma attack that killed him.