Police Brutality Kills Yet Another Black Man
On Friday, Eric Garner, a Staten Island man was choked to death by an NYPD officer. And while a police brutality headline isn’t uncommon, too often these public officials walk away with little more than a slap on the wrist. What can be done to stop this?
The officer linked to what the police commissioner has said was an apparent chokehold has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty.
Chokeholds are banned under department policy. Garner’s cause of death has yet to be determined.
Court records show that within the past two years, three men sued Daniel Pantaleo — the officer seen wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck — over allegedly unlawful, racially motivated arrests. Garner was black.
In the first lawsuit, settled by the city in January, two black men accused Pantaleo and other officers of arresting them without cause and subjecting them to a “humiliating and unlawful strip search” on the street in which they were ordered to “pull their pants and underwear down, squat and cough.” The men said they were held overnight on charges that were ultimately dismissed.
In a second lawsuit, a man accused Pantaleo and other officers of misrepresenting facts in a police report and other documents to substantiate charges that also were dismissed.
The president of the city’s largest police union called Pantaleo’s reassignment an unwarranted, knee-jerk decision.
In addition to Pantaleo, an eight-year NYPD veteran, a second officer who has been with the department for four years was taken off the street but retained his gun and badge. The reassignments will remain in effect while prosecutors and internal affairs detectives probe Garner’s death, police said.