NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner with this bare hands nearly five years ago, managing to avoid any criminal charges along the way. Now his legal team has found another way to defer justice by delaying his administrative trial to determine if Pantaleo should be allowed to keep his job.
Gothamist reported the trial has officially gone on a two-week hiatus. That news came after the trial finally resumed Tuesday following a four-day break. Their excuse? Witness supposedly aren’t available. According to Pantaleo’s lawyer, they want to have a medical examiner from Missouri to testify that Garner was not killed due to the chokehold that the world saw on camera.
Judge Rosemarie Maldonado was allegedly “irate” about the delays. However, according to the Gothamist, “In a pretrial motion last month, Pantaleo’s lawyers had asked Maldonado for last Friday off from trial, as Pantaleo, who is still employed by the NYPD, had a scheduled vacation. At the time, Maldonado refused, but last week she agreed to recess court that Friday and this Monday.”
Suzanne O’Hare, one of the Civilian Complaint Review Board lawyers prosecuting Pantaleo’s case, offered sympathy for Garner’s family, who she said “doesn’t fully understand why we are having so much time off. It’s a great burden, it’s a great amount of anxiety and emotional stress for them.”
Maldonado reportedly said, “I’ve expressed my frustration about this in conference and sidebars.”
There have already been many vile revelations during the administrative trial, which began May 13. An NYPD officer admitted Tuesday that he trumped up the charges against Garner in an effort to justify Pantaleo choking him to death. While Officer Justin D’Amico was riding in the ambulance with a dying Garner on that fateful day in 2014, he filled out arrest papers listing “a felony tax charge that would have required prosecutors to prove Garner, a small-time street hustler, had sold 10,000 untaxed cigarettes,” the Associated Press reported.
Just last week, it was reported that NYPD Lt. Christopher Bannon and Sgt. Dhanan Saminath were texting shortly after Pantaleo used a banned chokehold on Garner in Staten Island. When learning Garner might be dead on arrival at the hospital, Bannon then sent the following text, “Not a big deal.”
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 trial is scheduled to resume June 5.