What to Know
Officer Daniel Pantaleo has been served with departmental charges in connection to the Eric Garner case, a law enforcement source said
The NYPD is proceeding with disciplinary proceedings nearly four years after Garner died, despite lack of federal action
Garner was killed in a confrontation with NYPD officers in 2014; His dying words, "I can't breathe," became a slogan for Black Lives Matter
A police officer has been served with departmental charges in connection to the Eric Garner case, a law enforcement source said Saturday.
Daniel Pantaleo was served with the charges on Friday, the source told NBC 4 New York on the condition of anonymity because state civil rights law prevents the disclosure of an officer’s personnel record without judicial approval.
The NYPD announced this week, nearly four years after Garner’s death, that it would allow disciplinary proceedings to go forward against the patrolman accused in the notorious chokehold death. The NYPD said it had run out of patience with federal authorities’ indecision about whether to bring a criminal case.
A pointed letter from the NYPD's top lawyer informed the U.S. Department of Justice of an administrative case that could result in dismissal for Pantaleo because "there is no end in sight" to the federal probe.
The Administrative Prosecution Unit (APU) of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a police watchdog, will prosecute the case regarding Pantaleo, while the NYPD Department Advocate will prosecute Sgt. Kizzy Adonis.
A lawyer for Pantaleo, who's been on paid desk duty, previously said in a statement, "We are looking forward to our day in court to be vindicated."
Garner, 43, was accused of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes when he was stopped by police on Staten Island on July 17, 2014, and refused to be handcuffed. Pantaleo is seen on a widely watched cell phone video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold, which is banned under NYPD policy.
The heavyset victim, who had asthma, is heard gasping, "I can't breathe." He was pronounced dead at a hospital. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide caused in part by the chokehold.
Garner's death sparked angry protests about the treatment of black men and boys at the hands of white police officers.
Garner’s family received $5.9 million from the city in 2015 to settle a wrongful death claim. A state probe ended without criminal charges.