NYPD officer, Daniel Pantaleo, is being investigated by new federal agents in connection with the death of Eric Garner.
For crimes as outrageous as Eric Garner’s death there can be no limitations period. And at last, the time has come when we can bring his murderer, an NYPD officer, Daniel Pantaleo, to account. The prosecution will not be simple as there are lots of complications in the case. We have gathered for you all the most informative materials related to the case.
Following a shakeup in the federal case for the death of Eric Garner, the Justice Department is reportedly actively seeking to charge Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Garner in the fatal chokehold.
On Tuesday, a source in law enforcement said that, with the ouster of New York-based FBI agents and prosecutors, who were replaced with Washington-based counterparts, an indictment was highly likely. “It’s going to happen sooner than later,” the source said. “Washington wants to indict him.”
The Justice Department will charge the NYPD cop accused of putting Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold https://t.co/PCI6mdxjMI
— New York Post (@nypost) October 25, 2016
The New York federal agents are reportedly furious, claiming that their Washington replacements are trying to “make an example out of Pantaleo.”
“We already … came to a conclusion which they didn’t like. It’s truly disgraceful what they’re doing,” the source said in response to the outcry from the New York-based agents. See more
The Justice Department has replaced the New York team of agents and lawyers investigating the death of Eric Garner, officials said, a highly unusual shake-up that could jump-start the long-stalled case and put the government back on track to seek criminal charges.
— Jack Hunter (@jackhunter74) October 27, 2016
Mr. Garner, 43, died in 2014 on a Staten Island street corner, where two police officers confronted him and accused him of selling untaxed cigarettes. One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, was seen on a video using a chokehold, prohibited by the NYPD, to subdue him. Mr. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for protesters around the country.
In recent weeks, the F.B.I. agents who have been investigating the case were replaced with agents from outside New York, according to five federal officials in New York and Washington. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are no longer assigned to the case. It is not clear whether civil rights prosecutors from Washington will work alone in presenting evidence to a grand jury in Brooklyn and in trying the case if charges are eventually brought.
The officials who described the reorganization did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. See more
The New York Times
Mr. Garner’s death, followed by the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and several other high-profile deadly police encounters across the country, prompted nationwide protests over how and when officers use force, particularly against black men. Though the Justice Department has required police departments to stop unconstitutional practices and retrain officers, it has rarely brought charges against individual officers in deadly encounters.
To do so in the Garner case, prosecutors must persuade a grand jury that a crime occurred. Normally, that is all but guaranteed and an indictment follows. But Officer Pantaleo’s testimony helped persuade a state grand jury on Staten Island not to bring charges in December 2014. Any decision on charges in the federal case is probably months away, officials said.
The Justice Department and the F.B.I. did not comment.
Stuart London, a lawyer for Officer Pantaleo, said that he had maintained he never violated anyone’s civil rights. “This was always a simple street encounter where Officer Pantaleo utilized his N.Y.P.D. training to subdue an individual,” Mr. London said.
He added: “If it is true that the Justice Department is rejecting the recommendations of seasoned F.B.I. agents and assistant United States attorneys, this is a gross miscarriage of justice. In our system of justice, politics should never take the place of the rule of law.”
Officer Pantaleo was stripped of his badge and gun two days after Mr. Garner’s death, and he has remained on desk duty. But as is typical in such cases, departmental hearings that could lead to his dismissal have been delayed during the criminal investigations. See more
Such cases test the justice system and the present state of affairs proves that NYPD and many other police departments fail the tests. At the moment reasonably selected diverse jury remains our only hope.