NEW YORK (AP) —
After five years of investigations and protests,
New York City’s police commissioner
involved in the 2014 chokehold death
of an unarmed black man
whose dying cries of “I can’t breathe”
a national debate
over race and police use of force.
NYPD is holding
a news conference
at 12:30p.m. EDT.
in the video player above.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill’s
at a midday news conference
that he had fired
Officer Daniel Pantaleo,
who is white,
based on a recent recommendation
of a department disciplinary judge.
it was clear
that Pantaleo “can no longer effectively serve
as a New York City police officer.”
“None of us
can take back
when they lead
to the death of another human being.”
O’Neill has been deliberating
on whether to accept a disciplinary judge’s recommendation
to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo
for using a banned chokehold
to years of protests and calls
by black activists and liberal politicians
for Pantaleo to lose his job.
had long insisted,
they couldn’t take action
until criminal investigations were complete.
A state grand jury
to indict Pantaleo
Federal authorities, however,
a civil rights investigation open
for five years
the officer used
a reasonable amount of force
and didn’t mean
to hurt Garner.
New York City’s mayor
has declined to say
whether he believes
Garner should lose his job
but has been promising “justice”
to the slain man’s family.
at a time of a growing public outcry
over police killings of unarmed black men
the national Black Lives Matter movement.
Just weeks later,
in Ferguson, Missouri,
over the fatal shooting
of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
And later in 2014,
a man angry about the Garner and Brown
shot two New York City police officers to death
in their cruiser in retribution.
At a recent administrative trial at New York Police Department headquarters, Pantaleo’s lawyers argued he used an approved “seat belt” technique to subdue Garner, who refused to be handcuffed after officers accused him of selling untaxed cigarettes.
In a bystander’s video, it appeared that Pantaleo initially tried to use two approved restraint tactics on Garner, who was much larger at 6-foot-2 (188 centimeters) and about 400 pounds (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.
The footage showed Garner, who was 43 at the time, crying out, “I can’t breathe,” at least 11 times before he fell unconscious. The medical examiner’s office said a chokehold contributed to Garner’s death.
Questions about the handling of the case have dogged Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio during his long-shot run for president, with some protesters at the recent debate in Detroit chanting, “Fire Pantaleo.”