NYPD Officer Responsible for Daniel Garner’s Death Fired


Mahle Gangi, Staff Writer

Five years ago in Staten Island, Eric Garner died after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a choke-hold in the midst of arresting him. Today, five years later, Pantaleo was fired from the NYPD after being deemed unfit to be an officer. In addition to being let go, Commissioner James O’Neill says he will not be receiving his NYPD pension, but he will be refunded any money he has put towards it up until this point. 

Pantaleo’s termination comes on the heels of his guilty verdict from earlier this month in a disciplinary trial reprimanding his use of a choke-hold on Garner back in 2014. The judge made an official recommendation for Pantaleo to be fired from his position at the NYPD for his misconduct. This was reiterated as a major factor in the NYPD’s decision in a statement made by O’Neill, though he recognizes that it was still a difficult decision for them to make: “Had I been in (Pantaleo’s) situation, I may have made similar mistakes.” 

 All of this circles back to Eric Garner’s tragic death five years ago. Garner was suspected of allegedly selling individual cigarettes from packs without tax stamps, so the public was furious with the force used against him by the officers involved in his arrest. Garner’s final words, “I can’t breathe,” were a monumental addition to the Black Lives Matter movement. Because Garner was suspected of a nonviolent, minor crime, people begged the question of why such blunt force was used against him in his arrest. Garner’s situation and the five years it took for Pantaleo to be terminated has incited discussion over how serious the NYPD takes this kind of unnecessary violence and what they truly value in law enforcement officials.