UPDATED 1:21p.m. EDT, July 19 –
The disciplinary trial for New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Eric Garner in an unauthorized chokehold leading to his July 2014 death, will move forward, the department confirmed Thursday.
Another disciplinary proceeding will happen for Sergeant Kizzy Adonis, with both trials scheduled to start within the next few days, an NYPD official said. The U.S. Department of Justice had no objection to the NYPD moving up the trial dates, which were previously scheduled for September, the New York Daily News reported.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board will prosecute Pantaleo, who is expected to be charged with using the banned chokehold; the NYPD will hold a trial for Adonis who will face a charge for failure to supervise. Both Pantaleo and Adonis were assigned to desk duty since Garner’s death, despite national outcry for justice for the Black father. Garner’s daughter, Erica Garner, who tirelessly fought for her dad, suffered a heart attack and died last December.
If found guilty, both men will only lose their jobs.
Eric Garner‘s mother on Monday doubled down on her demand that New York City fire the police officers involved in her son’s killing four years ago. Gwen Carr was responding to the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) announcement hours earlier that it would proceed with disciplinary actions against the cop who used a banned chokehold that killed Garner in an act of illegal violence that was recorded on cellphone video.
“I’m always going to have faith, because the whole world saw what happened to my son,” Carr reportedly said during a press conference alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton at National Action Network headquarters in Harlem.
Carr repeated her years-old demand to have Officer Daniel Pantaleo, her son’s killer, kicked off the force.
The news came with one condition: If federal authorities failed to prosecute the cops by the end of August, the NYPD said it would act on its own.
“The NYPD has come to the conclusion that given the extraordinary passage of time since the incident without a final decision on the US DOJ’s criminal investigation, any further delay in moving ahead with our own disciplinary proceedings can no longer be justified,” a letter from Lawrence Byrne, the department’s deputy commissioner of legal matters, to the DOJ said, according to the New York Post.
NYPD officials released the letter one day before the fourth anniversary of the infamous killing that was caught on video and went viral worldwide.
Garner died after Pantaleo placed him in an illegal chokehold while attempting to arrest him for selling “loosie,” untaxed, single cigarettes, as Garner cried out that he couldn’t breathe.
Police officials placed Pantaleo on desk duty after the incident, stripping him of his badge and gun. A New York State grand jury declined to indict the officer on criminal charges in 2014, but a federal grand jury began hearing evidence in February 2016 on civil rights charges.
The Obama Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation that has been held up by the Donald Trump’s DOJ, headed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Sessions, who has been unabashedly pro law enforcement in civil rights matters, asked city officials to delay an administrative trial that could, at least, result in Pantaleo getting fired from the department.
Meanwhile, Pantaleo has been collecting a salary and raises. He reportedly earned over $20,000 in overtime pay while on desk duty in the two years following the killing. Pantaleo’s salary rose to $119,996 in fiscal year 2016.