UPDATED 8/2, 12:03 p.m. ET: An administrative judge for the NYPD has recommended firing police officer Daniel Pantaleo, the Associated Press reports. Pantaleo is accused of killing Eric Garner in 2014, when he put an unarmed Garner in a chokehold. The final decision on Pantaleo's fate now rests in the hands of New York's Police Commissioner, James O’Neill. Pantaleo has been suspended from the NYPD pending a decision.
See original story below.
Days after the Justice Department said it won't be bringing civil rights charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the officer responsible for choking Eric Garner to death, the victim's daughter, Emerald, launched a petition on Change.org demanding that he be fired from the NYPD.
"Hello I am the youngest daughter of Eric Garner, Emerald Garner, please hear my message and continue to stand with my family through this trying time," the petition reads. "My sister Erica died before she could see justice for our father, and I refuse to leave this Earth until I see justice for Eric Garner and all others who were murdered at the hands of the murdering police officers who took an oath to protect and serve the communities."
The petition goes on to demand that Mayor DeBlasio fire Pantaleo. "Please sign this petition and help us as we continue to demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill Fire Officer Pantaleo."
Almost five years to the date since Garner's death, Attorney General William P. Barr ordered that the case against Pantaleo be dropped, despite the fact that he used a banned chokehold that caused a fatal asthma attack. The DOJ had until the fifth anniversary of Garner's death to make a choice, although it told the NYPD last year that its investigation had concluded.
Following news of the Justice Department's decision, Emerald Garner gave an emotional speech to the press and supporters outside a Brooklyn courthouse and demanded that Pantaleo be held accountable for his brutality.
In 2014, Eric Garner was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island when Pantaleo and other officers approached him. When he told the authorities he would not condone harassment by the police, Pantaleo put him in a chokehold, and in the video that was captured, Garner can be heard gasping, "I can't breathe" 11 times. The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide.
"I don't want any apologies. I don't want any condolences. I heard that five years ago. I want justice. We've been quiet for too long," Emerald said in a statement to Change.org on why she started the petition. "I want to spread the word as much as possible that I will not stand for injustice, and that I will do everything I can to get justice for my father, and justice for all of my family members who have fought for five years to hold the officer who killed my father accountable."
Since Garner was killed at the hands of Pantaleo, the officer has been on a modified assignment without a gun or a badge. He has stated that he wishes to stay with the NYPD despite the death that he caused.