The Justice Department announced that they will not file federal charges against New York police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who viciously murdered Eric Garner with an unlawful chokehold on the eve of the anniversary of his death. Rev. Al Sharpton said, “Justice has been choked.”
“I can’t breathe!”
Let’s look back. We remember Pantaleo with his arms around his neck from the back, taking him down. Then the other police pressing their weight on him, like stockpiled, until his chest was smashed into the pavement. A bystander captured it on the footage, and again we were left with the eerie sound of this big man begging for his life, saying “I can’t breathe” 11 times. A medical examiner testified at the disciplinary hearing that the pressure on Mr. Garner’s neck and chest set in motion a fatal asthma attack.
Who can forget the last words that uttered five years ago by the Garner, as police killed him for selling loosies on the ave in Staten Island on July 17, 2014?
Most certainly not his family members, children, and mother, who continue to fight after years for justice against the violation of Garner’s civil rights that ended in his death, one that sparked national protests across the world. Despite the intention to dampen the hopes of the Garner family against the officers, his kin has vowed to keep the fight alive. While the family fights, Officer Pantaleo, 34, still has his job as an active cop on desk duty (without a shield or a gun) and still permitted to accrue a check and pension benefits.
According to the New York Times, last month the NYPD completed a disciplinary trial to figure out if Pantaleo should be axed or reprimanded for the use of the illegal chokehold- one that had been banned from use over 20 years prior. Commissioner James P. O’Neill, the final arbiter of police discipline has not released a formal decision or statement on whether or not Pantaleo will be fired or just get docked his vacation time. Be very clear… if the docking of vacation time is the option… people will lose their minds.
A spokesman for the department, Philip T. Walzak, said in a statement, “Because of the need to protect the integrity of the process, the N.Y.P.D. will not comment further at this time.”
Our prayers are with the family, and the fight for justice remains.