As many people are outraged that Jay-Z has said we are beyond kneeling, the case of Eric Garner — who was killed in an illegal chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo — is a perfect example of why people were still kneeling following the announcement of the rapper’s partnership with the NFL. That truth was hammered home again Sunday after it was reported that the judge presiding over the NYPD administrative trial determined that Pantaleo lied about killing Garner more than five years ago in Staten Island.
According to The New York Times, Judge Rosemarie Maldonado said Pantaleo’s version of the incident was “untruthful” and “disingenuous” during the disgraced cop’s accounts to investigators. She also said the other officers who testified were “unhelpful or unreliable.”
Maldonado ultimately recommended that Pantaleo be fired. However, as of Monday morning, more than two months after the trial ended and more than five years after Garner was killed on video, Pantaleo was still on the NYPD’s payroll earning a six-figure salary while Commissioner James O’Neill was apparently grappling with what to do next.
“My family and I have been fighting for five long years for justice and accountability for Eric’s murder – and Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have put up roadblocks and delays every step of the way,” Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said in part of a statement she released earlier this month. “It brings me some relief to learn that Judge Maldonado has recommended that Pantaleo be fired – but the recommendation is long overdue, I’m still not allowed to see Maldonado’s report and we still have a ways to go before there is true accountability for Eric’s murder. It’s past time for Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD to end their obstruction, stop spreading misleading talking points and finally take action for my son.”
Carr went on to say that in addition to Pantaleo being fired, the other NYPD officers who were on the scene as her son died should also lose their jobs — a sentiment widely shared by civil rights groups.
One of Garner’s daughters called on O’Neill to “fire Pantaleo,” saying his termination was way overdue.
“This has been a long battle,” Emerald Garner said in part on Friday. “Five years too long.” She said she is asking for “congressional hearings” and vowed to “keep fighting.”
We hope the Garner family finally gets justice.