The New York Police Department officer cleared in Eric Garner’s chokehold death is being sued over a 2010 car crash that left a man with “severe and permanent” injuries, reports the New York Daily News.
The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was recently named as a defendant in a civil suit filed in Queens Supreme Court against the department, charging that the officer crashed a police vehicle into another man’s car on Staten Island on June 20, resulting in “severe and permanent” injuries to the victim’s neck, back, left shoulder, and knee.
Leonardo Aguirre claims that Pantaleo was speeding and following him too closely in his 2010 Chevrolet when the two got into an accident about 15 minutes away from the cop’s 120th Precinct stationhouse, according to legal papers filed with the city…
The Friday afternoon collision occurred just weeks before the officer prompted a national outcry about police tactics after he was caught in a video — first published by the Daily News — putting the unarmed Garner in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes on July 17.
Garner’s death sparked ongoing protests against police violence in the Black community, which ramped up in the fall after a Staten Island grand jury failed to indict Pantaleo in the death that was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
The civil suit is not the first time Pantaleo, 29, has been sued, the NY Daily News writes:
At least four New Yorkers have previously filed suits against the 29-year-old Pantaleo, including Darren Collins and Tommy Rice, who won a $30,000 settlement after charging that Pantaleo strip-searched them in public after a Staten Island traffic stop in 2012 and slapped their testicles.
The Legal Aid Society also filed a lawsuit against the Civilian Complaint Review Board — a regulatory board charged with oversight of the NYPD — in an effort to obtain Pantaleo’s disciplinary history, reports the News.
Garner’s death is still under investigation by the police department and the U.S. Department of Justice is also looking into the incident, the News writes. Pantaleo has said he feels “very bad” about causing Garner’s death. He remains on modified duty.