(CNN)Eric Garner's mother has won her bid for an investigation into New York City's handling of the arrest of her son, the disciplining of officers involved in his 2014 death and the lack of medical care he was given by police officers, a state judge ruled.
Justice for Eric Garner
Support Justice for Eric Garner
On September 24, 2020, six years after the killing of Eric Garner, NY Supreme Court Justice Joan A. Madden ruled in Eric Garner's family's favor in their request for a judicial inquiry. The judge ruled that a public judicial inquiry into potential violations and neglect of duty by the de Blasio administration, including former NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, and other top police officials arising from the death of Eric Garner, can proceed.
In August 2019, Eric Garner's mother, sister, and Ramarley Graham's mother, along with CPR members, announced a petition to the New York Supreme Court. The petition demanded a judicial inquiry into the violations and neglect of duty by Mayor Bill de Blasio, his administration, and others related to the unjust killing of Eric Garner, the cover-up that continues to this day, and the corresponding failure to discipline officers for misconduct in a meaningful or timely manner.
Mayor de Blasio responded to this request for justice by filing a motion to dismiss the petition. New York State Supreme Court Judge Joan A. Madden heard arguments in the city's motion to dismiss in August 2020.
Parties to the petition include Gwen Carr, Ellisha Flagg Garner, Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, Loyda Colon of Justice Committee, Joo-Hyun Kang of Communities United for Police Reform, Monifa Bandele of MomsRising, Kesi Foster of Make the Road, and Mark Winston Griffith of Brooklyn Movement Center. They are represented by Alvin Bragg, Gideon Oliver, and Melissa Toback Levin.
August 2019 marked five long years of obstruction and refusal, to take action by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department to hold the NYPD involved in Eric Garner’s killing accountable, and tireless organizing by the Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, Ellisha Flagg Garner, Garner’s sister, the Garner family, and community organizations and advocates, Officer Daniel Pantaleo was fired. His firing followed a CCRB prosecuted disciplinary trial that concluded in June 2019 which found him having violated Department procedures including a decades-long ban on the chokehold maneuver.
Throughout the entire process, Mayor de Blasio has refused to be transparent, withholding records and the names of NYPD officers involved, delaying disciplinary processes and attributed his own inaction on the Department of Justice, when in fact other officers have been disciplined (and even fired) in the past without waiting for a DOJ investigation or prosecution.
The fight for justice for Eric Garner is not yet over. Of the multiple NYPD on scene that day, only one other besides Pantaleo, Sergeant Kizzy Adonis, has faced any disciplinary action, losing just 20 vacation days without having to admit any wrongdoing, after cutting a deal with the Department.
Help lift up Eric Garner’s family’s demands:
- That ALL NYPD involved in misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner (including those whose names may have not yet been released by the NYPD) be held accountable and dismissed from the NYPD.
- For a judicial investigation into violations or neglect of duty by Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner O’Neill, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Richardson (in charge of discipline) and others related to the case.
- For full access to ALL NYPD and CCRB records of the case.
About NYPD Killing of Eric Garner
On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner was killed on a Staten Island sidewalk after being placed in an NYPD-banned chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo, during a false/illegal arrest while Eric pleaded “I can’t breathe” eleven times. The killing was captured on video, which showed a number of officers who used force in the illegal arrest, failed to intervene and failed to provide aid. NYPD officials and officers also attempted to cover-up the killing, first claiming that Garner died of a heart attack, illegally leaked sealed records to criminalize Garner, and lying on official reports.