There is currently an administrative trial for Daniel Pantaleo, the New York Police Department (NYPD) officer who killed Eric Garner nearly five years ago. The officer has not been indicted, therefore, this trial will only determine if he will be fired from his job at an NYPD Officer. However, we are now getting a confirmed glimpse at how the NYPD really feels about the lives of Black people.
NYPD Lt. Christopher Bannon and Sgt. Dhanan Saminath were texting shortly after Pantaleo violently strangled Garner in Staten Island, where the victim was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center without a pulse, the New York Post reported.
“Danny and Justin went to collar Eric Garner and he resisted. When they took him down Eric went into cardiac arrest. He’s unconscious. Might be DOA,” Saminath texted Bannon.
“For the smokes?” Bannon replied.
“Yeah,” Saminath answered. “They observed him selling … Danny tried to grab him, they both went down. They called the [ambulance] ASAP. He’s most likely DOA. He has no pulse.”
Bannon then sent the following text: “Not a big deal.”
On the stand, Bannon claimed on the stand he wrote it to “comfort” Pantaleo.
Sadly, Garner’s family has had to endure this administrative trial for a man who has not paid for killing someone on camera. Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, was forced to watch the chokehold death of her son in an NYPD courtroom during the killer officer’s administrative trial on Monday.
“The day after Mother’s Day, to have to watch the video that the world saw of my son being killed, to be at this trial after five years, and to see all of the tricks that Pantaleo’s lawyers are trying to pull to avoid accountability, it’s really hard,” she said outside of the courtroom on Monday. “All the lies and stuff that’s being portrayed up there. I’m just hoping I can stand up.”
Garner was approached by undercover NYPD officers on July 17, 2014, for the alleged offense of selling untaxed loose cigarettes. When officers failed at handcuffing him for the nonviolent misdemeanor, Pantaleo was caught on video with his arms wrapped tightly around Garner’s neck from behind. The chokehold ultimately killed Garner. The entire deadly episode was captured on cellphone video and filmed by a bystander. Garner’s final words “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying call for social justice advocates who saw his death as a murder.
The NYPD only began disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo last year. Their defense for Pantaleo? The NYPD claims Garner died from his own health issues, not the illegal chokehold the world saw Pantaleo use during the killing, which was captured on video by a bystander.