CAN’T BREATH IN A SYSTEM OF RACISM? “Anxiety is the whip in the hand of the oppressor used to drive the oppressed to completion of their appointed rounds.” From [HERE] Unless a Manhattan Supreme Court intervenes, Officer Daniel Pantaleo and the Civilian Complaint Review Board should prepare for the officer’s May 13 disciplinary trial in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado said Thursday at One Police Plaza.
Maldonado also denied Pantaleo’s attorney Stuart London’s request to allow the officer to miss part of his trial May 17 to go on a planned vacation.
That is, more than Four years after Eric Garner was fatally smothered and choked to death by a gang of white cops on a street corner in Staten Island in front of numerous witnesses and cameras in broad daylight, an internal disciplinary proceeding against one of the officers involved will take place.
Maldonado’s decision comes as Pantaleo’s defense has been trying to stop the disciplinary trial from moving forward.
The NYPD internal administrative trial will start May 13 and could take about two weeks, the judge said.
Pantaleo is expected to be prosecuted by the Administrative Prosecution Unit of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which will ultimately make a recommendation to Police Commissioner James O'Neill. The internal NYPD hearing is not a criminal trial, and thus could not result in criminal charges being brought against Pantaleo. If found liable, the 33-year-old Pantaleo could face penalties ranging from the loss of vacation days to firing from the department. That is, at worst, he could end up losing his job—though even then, it's unlikely that the public would be made aware of the arguments and evidence presented during the hearing, according to Jeffrey Fagan, a law professor at Columbia University who specializes in police accountability and criminal law. [MORE]
However, the Civilian Complaint Review Board is trying to charge Pantaleo with felony and misdemeanor offenses and is using the NYPD’s Patrol Guide to prove he used excessive force on Garner.
But London tried to get the CCRB’s Patrol Guide charges dismissed Thursday because he said the board had not filed those charges within 18 months.
Earlier this week, London asked New York State Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden to get the CCRB off Pantaleo’s trial.
Madden agreed to hold a hearing on May 9 to consider arguments that the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) has no jurisdiction to bring the case forward.
But the Supreme Court judge denied London’s request to issue a temporary restraining order on the upcoming trial.
After the May 9 hearing, Madden’s decision could delay the officer’s trial.
London made a similar argument against the CCRB in April, but Maldonado said then that the CCRB has jurisdiction to bring the charges forward.
Garner’s mother Gwen Carr and advocates have been calling for other officers involved in the death of Garner to also face disciplinary proceedings.
But Police Commissioner James O’Neill on Thursday declined to say whether those officers would face disciplinary proceedings or if he would agree to fire Pantaleo if the judge overseeing his trail ruled against him.
IMPACT ON THE FAMILY
Following the Thursday hearing, supporters of Garner and his mother, Gwen Carr, said the defense’s attempt to delay the trial are beginning to take a toll on Carr both physically and mentally.
“Gwen Carr is beginning to show signs of wear and tear in her mind and her body and her spirit not from any physical injury per se, but because of the continued psychological violence that the NYPD is inflicting upon her, her family and the community,” said Minister Kirsten John Foy with the Arc of Justice. “It’s unacceptable and the games that Mr. London is playing are dangerous.”
Over the summer, the NYPD said departmental charges would proceed against Pantaleo that could result in his termination.
The NYPD’s decision came a day after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) informed the NYPD it had no objection with it moving forward.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has so far raised no objections to the NYPD’s decision.
Earlier this year, Lawrence Byrne, the former head of the NYPD Legal Bureau, said he believes the Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a conclusion in its investigation of Eric Garner’s death.
Earlier this week, Carr said she had yet to hear from the DOJ or the NYPD.
De Blasio said he has reached out to the DOJ “repeatedly,” unsuccessfully.
“There’s never a status update I’ve never seen anything like this in my whole life, and this happened over two administrations and I am absolutely flabbergasted, I don't understand how so much time could pass,” the mayor said when asked if he has reached out to the DOJ. “Just make a decision up or down, there’s nothing, there’s no indication of a decision or whether there ever will be a decision and it makes no sense to me.”
Garner, 43, died when cops attempted to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in Tompkinsville on July 17, 2014.
Video taken by witness Ramsey Orta showed Pantaleo wrestle Garner to the ground while Garner could be heard repeatedly shouting “I can’t breathe.”
Medical examiners ruled Garner’s death a homicide in 2014.
At a hearing in April, London revealed that the New York City Police Department’s top surgeon said Pantaleo did not use a chokehold during his fatal encounter with Garner.