After a five-year battle against the unjust murder of their loved one, Eric Garner’s family can rest a bit easier as the New York Police Department seems to be moving closer in making the final steps to fire officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who used an illegal chokehold in Garner’s death.
On Friday in a statement obtained by the New York Daily News, NYPD spokesman Phil Walzak said the department suspended Pantaelo “as is the longstanding practice in these matters when the recommendation is termination.”
Pantaleo still faces a final call from New York Police Commissioner James O’Neil who is expected to follow the suggestion of NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials, Rosemarie Maldonado. On Friday Maldonado, who also resided over Pantaleo’s disciplinary trial, issued her decision that Pantaleo be let go from the force.
According to CNN the Civilian Complaint Review Board and Pantaleo’s legal team will have two weeks to draft a response to Maldonado’s recommendation.
Garner’s daughter Emerald reacted to the judge’s decision flanked by Rev. Al Sharpton and her brother Eric Garner Jr. on Friday.
“Finally somebody has said that there’s some information that this cop has done something wrong. We’ve waited five years. CCRB has made the recommendation. Commissioner O’Neil, fire Pantaleo, that’s all we asking,” she said.
Last week Garner’s five-year-old daughter called for justice.
The back to back announcements come as the calls for Pantaleo’s firing became loud and clear, taking center stage at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate where a group of protesters interrupted the night’s proceedings to urge that justice be served.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was also a target of criticism for the demonstrators and a few of his fellow presidential candidates who took him to task over the city’s inaction in firing Pantaleo. He responded by saying the Garner family will have justice within “the next 30 days.”
On July 17, 2014, Garner’s death was shared to social media where he was shown uttering the words “I can’t breathe” after Pantaleo used the outlawed move to restrain him.
Garner was standing in front of a store in Staten Island, when he was swarmed by a team of police who accused him of soliciting by selling loose cigarettes also known as “Lucy’s.” While selling Lucy’s is illegal in the state of New York, his life should not have served as payment for the crime.