Fired Officer Daniel Pantaleo Is Now Suing NYPD

Former NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in an effort to be reinstated to the police force.

New York, NY – The former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer fired in connection with the death of Eric Garner filed a lawsuit against the city on Wednesday seeking to get his job back.

The wrongful termination lawsuit called former NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s firing “arbitrary and capricious,” FOX News reported.

NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced the termination of Officer Pantaleo in connection with the death of Eric Garner publicly at a press conference on Aug. 19.

“The unintended consequence of Mr. Garner’s death must have a consequence of its own,” Commissioner O’Neill told reporters at the time.

He disputed rumors that City Hall and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had ordered him to fire the controversial police officer, and said his 34 years as an NYPD police officer had made it a difficult decision.

“If I was still a cop, I’d probably be mad at me. ‘You’re not looking out for us.’ But I am,” Commissioner O’Neill said.

He said that he had considered a separation option for Officer Pantaleo that would have let him keep his pension, but ultimately, decided to do a straightforward termination.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo had been suspended since Aug. 2 after an NYPD trial judge said he was guilty of using a chokehold on Eric Garner and should be fired.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado issued a non-binding verdict that said Officer Pantaleo was not guilty of aggravated assault or obstructing breathing, but that he had violated department policy regarding the use of chokeholds, WABC reported.

In her decision, Maldonado said she found Officer Pantaleo’s denial of having used a chokehold on Garner “implausible and self-serving,” The New York Times reported.

She claimed the video and the autopsy showed “overwhelming evidence” Officer Pantaleo had used a chokehold despite being trained not to. The autopsy showed no damage to Garner's neck.

Deputy Commissioner Maldonado’s recommendation was forwarded to Commissioner O’Neill, who held the power to make the ultimate determination about the fate of the officer’s employment.

Officer Pantaleo was on desk duty for five years after the incident with Garner in July of 2014 until he was suspended on Aug. 2.

Garner was arrested by NYPD officers on July 17, 2014, after police stopped him for selling individual, untaxed loose cigarettes on a city sidewalk.

He resisted arrest and fought with officers who struggled to take the 350-pound man into custody.

In the process of subduing Garner, video taken by witnesses showed that Officer Pantaleo had his arm around Garner's neck and pressed his face against the sidewalk.

Garner repeatedly told officers “I can’t breathe,” a phrase that became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter in the months that followed.

Officer Pantaleo later said he tried to use a “seatbelt maneuver” on Garner, and did not mean to put the much larger man into a choke hold.

Garner lost consciousness on the sidewalk, and died in the hospital an hour later from a medical emergency.

The autopsy report showed no damage to any area of his neck, and it was determined that he died of a medical emergency induced by officers who were arresting him. The medical examiner declared it was a homicide.

A New York Grand Jury declined to indict on any criminal charges.

The federal inquiry has dragged on for years and split the Justice Department in half between those who want to go after the officer and those who thought the officer did nothing wrong, according to The New York Times.

Donoghue explained federal prosecutors’ decision not to charge Officer Pantaleo.

The U.S. attorney said that while Garner’s death was a tragedy, “the evidence does not support charging Police Officer Pantaleo with a federal civil rights violation.”

He said federal prosecutors could not prove that the officer “willfully used excessive force to violate Mr. Garner’s rights as required under the law,” The New York Times reported.

But Commissioner O’Neill also said that, had he been in Officer Pantaleo’s shoes, he might have made some of the same mistakes.

The only other officer disciplined in connection with Garner was NYPD Sergeant Kizzy Adonis who opted to accept a loss of 20 vacation days rather than going in front of an administrative judge.

Former Officer Pantaleo, a 13-year veteran of the police force, has named Commissioner O’Neill, the NYPD, and the city in his lawsuit, the New York Post reported.

Comments (22)
No. 1-15
Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

If Gardner had complied, there wouldn't have been a problem. He, like so many, decided to disregard the direction of the officers, was horribly out of shape and died. He did the wrong thing to begin with but hey, let's let my family win the ghetto lottery and I'm not around to share in it. Stupid man...he caused his own death. I sincerely hope the officer wins this lawsuit.

ScaleriBrosLawyer
ScaleriBrosLawyer

Good for him. Smear job. Somebody should've taught Gardner to respect lawful commands, especially given his poor health. Trying to fight younger healthier men in his shitty condition was the height of stupidity.

bryantrent
bryantrent

Good for him

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

hopefully he wins his lawsuit, is awarded punitive damages in the millions, and is then able to take early retirement and work in a much better city.

His career with the NYPD ended long before the chief terminated him; and it was due to baseless public opinion and a strong anti- law enforcement culture among NYC's elected leadership, not because he did anything wrong.

Pat1978
Pat1978

It wasn't even a chokehold. They should have had someone who actually knows what a real chokehold is testify as an expert witness. Pantaleo was barely holding on to the guy.

xxcloroxx
xxcloroxx

Good for him. If you break the law bad shit happens. If you resist arrest and eat a pack of bacon a day, you may have a heart attack. Moral of the story, don't break the law, don't resist arrest, eat a salad once in a while FFS.

RetCanMilSpouse
RetCanMilSpouse

I'm glad. He has never changed his account of the seatbelt hold tactic he was attempting to use. There was no damage from the hold he was trying to use. The sheer size of Mr. Garner made the manoeuvre impossible and it ended up looking like a choke hold.

I sincerely hope that he is able to win his job back.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Good to hear!! Eric Garner caused his own death!! He was morbidly obese with heart disease. I really hope this officer wins a lot of money so he can just move out of New York and start fresh somewhere else.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

I heard someone ask "why hasn't someone with a terminal disease took this guy out yet?"

Good question.

aggiemama99
aggiemama99

I wish she wouldn’t go back to work for the NYPD. They’ll get him again somehow. Move on officer.

Aparent
Aparent

It’s sad that the chief of Department as well as city hall does not back its own police force, just Look at the recent events of officers getting stuff thrown, dumped on them and heaven forbid if they react and use force, because it’s been made clear time and time again that the brass & city doesn’t have their backs!!

61mouse
61mouse

Fuck you O'Neil just watch 1 episode of Blue Bloods and see how a Commissioner is suppose to treat his officers and stick up for them .

Grog
Grog

No such thing as a chokehold! The LVNR does not restrict breathing. People choke when something is stuck in their throat. Putting your hands or arm around someone's neck is strangulation! The LVNR does not strangle! The term "chokehold" has been as overused as the term "assault rifle."

Woobie46
Woobie46

If he doesn't win and win BIG, be assured, it is because of politics. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. It is clear that the copper did not employ a choke hold from the picture. If he doesn't win, let's all go there and make a REAL scene!

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

The city had a long time here to think about who's lawsuit they feared more: Garner family's or Officer Pantaleo's. Will be interesting to see if they guessed correctly (from a money perspective).