• On Monday it was announced Daniel Pantaleo was fired following his use of a chokehold on Eric Garner on July 17, 2014
  • Garner was approached by police for suspicion of selling loose cigarettes and would die from the police confrontation
  • In July, Attorney General William Barr squashed any chance of criminal charges following a Staten Island Grand Jury’ failure to indict Pantaleo
  • A Go Fund Me started for the Pantaleo family has raised over $50,000 and is currently going viral following the announcement of his termination

On Monday, Daniel Pantaleo was fired from the New York Police Department for placing 43-year-old Eric Garner in a chokehold on July 17, 2014. Garner died from that confrontation with police the started after he was suspected of illegally selling loose cigarettes.

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Pantaleo was fired based off a recommendation from a police department disciplinary judge. Pantaleo was suspended while awaiting O’Neil’s decision. When explaining his decision, O’Neil said mobile phone video clearly showed Pantaleo using a chokehold, which is banned by the NYPD.

It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer serve as a New York City police officer. Had I been in Officer Pantaleo’s situation, I may have made similar mistakes. None of us can take back our decisions. Especially when they lead to the death of another human being.

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill

As officers continued to restrain Garner, the asthmatic father of six could be heard saying “I can’t breathe.” Those words would later be used for years to come in protests around the country against police violence. New York Attorney General Letitia James said Pantaleo’s termination will bring justice to Garner’s family.

While we will never be able to change the events that transpired or bring Mr Garner back, today, some semblance of justice is finally being served.

New York Attorney General Letitia James

Did the family really receive justice for the death of Garner? In July, after a Staten Island Grand Jury failed to indict Pantaleo, Attorney General William P. Barr intervened and ordered the 5-year-old case to be dropped. The case had long caused division between prosecutors who claimed Pantaleo violated Garner’s civil rights and the opposition who argued the government could not prove Pantaleo willfully used excessive force to violate his rights.

The Garner family and their large base of supporters condemned Barr’s decision. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, called on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to fire Pantaleo. Carr vowed to fight to hold the officers involved in Garner’s death held accountable.

We’re not going away, so you can forget that.

Gwen Carr Via The New York Times

Now that Pantaleo was finally fired, police supporters appear to be adding some insult to injury after starting a Go Fund Me to raise money for the officer. As of now the crowdfunding campaign has raised over $50,000 for the Pantaleo family, with the majority of that amount coming in after the announcement of his firing. In the campaign’s story it reads, “Mayor diblasios rhetoric has contributed to the negativity and decision of officer Pantaleo. Let’s help an officer in need that was only doing his job!” The campaign has had seven updates since it was started and the goal has already been extended at least once.

The message being sent is concerning. It is a fact that Pantaleo did not do as he was taught as a chokehold is banned by the NYPD. His actions directly played a role in a man’s death all over selling loose cigarettes. Not only did the Department of Justice fail the Garner family when Barr intervened, but the NYPD also took five years to fire Pantaleo. Now the same day the Garner family gets a small victory, they will also see a viral Go Fund Me campaign that is rewarding an officer for his role in their loved one’s death.

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