NEW YORK (AP) – After five years of investigations and protests, a New York City police officer has been fired for the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.
Police commissioner James O’Neill announced Monday that he has fired Officer Daniel Pantaleo based on a recent recommendation of a department disciplinary judge.
Pantaleo is the officer who was recorded on video wrestling Eric Garner to the ground in 2014, with his arm wrapped tightly around Garner’s neck.
Garner’s dying words of “I can’t breathe” became a flash point in a national debate over race and police use of force.
Pantaleo’s lawyer has said the officer used a reasonable amount of force and didn’t mean to hurt Garner.
A state grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo. Federal authorities announced last month that they wouldn’t bring civil rights charges.