Statement on NYPD Firing of Daniel Pantaleo

Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society, released the following statement concerning the New York City Police Department’s decision to fire NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner in 2014:

“While this decision finally brings closure for the Garner family, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo should have been fired in 2014 and immediately stripped of his pension. Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s many attempts to point fingers elsewhere and spread the blame for years of inaction, New Yorkers now know that City Hall had the authority and jurisdiction to act decisively on this matter early on yet still did not.

Instead the Garners and many others have had to relive Mr. Garner’s untimely death almost daily, while his killer enjoyed continued employment and a paycheck. This Administration and future mayors should learn and reflect from the mishandling of this entire tragedy and acknowledge the errors that sowed immense distrust and divisiveness in our city between the public and the NYPD. The Mayor’s legacy will have to bear this stain and all of its costs forever.

Lastly, this ruling should not absolve the City from charging and ultimately firing the other officers who were involved with Mr. Garner’s killing. Those officers’ employment with the NYPD should be terminated without any further delay.”