Justice for 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 and illegal arrest while Eric pleaded "I can't breathe" eleven times. The killing, captured on video, showed many officers who used force in the unlawful arrest and many failed to intervene or provide aid. NYPD officials and officers also attempted to cover up the killing, first claiming that Garner died of a heart attack, illegally leaking sealed records to criminalize Mr. Garner, and lying on official reports. 

In August 2019, after five long years of obstruction and refusal by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD to take action, and tireless organizing by Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother, Ellisha Flagg Garner, Garner's sister, the Garner family, and community organizers, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, was finally fired. His firing followed a CCRB prosecuted disciplinary trial that concluded in June 2019 which found that Officer Pantaleo violated Department procedures such as the decades-long ban on the chokehold maneuver.

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 petitioners 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. 

On September 24, 2020, six years after the killing of Eric Garner, Justice  Madden ruled in petitioners’ 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, could proceed.

Unhappy with the court’s decision, the City tried to block the petition by filing a notice of appeal and by attempting to argue that there was an automatic stay to all further proceedings before the Supreme Court while the City’s appeal was pending. In December 2020, Justice Madden rejected the City’s arguments, once again allowing proceedings related to the inquiry to move forward, unless the City won a stay from an appeals court.  

On February 12, 2021, the City filed a motion with the Appellate Division, First Department, the appeals court, seeking to stay the judicial inquiry. On March 23, 2021, the First Department denied this request. The First Department heard the appeal on May 25, 2021, and denied the appeal on July 15, 2021.

Following Justice Madden’s retirement from the bench, Justice Erika M. Edwards was assigned to preside over the case.

In addition to the petition brought under Section 1109, the Gwen Carr, the Justice Committee, and Communities United for Police Reform submitted a Freedom of Information Law request to the NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board relating to Mr. Garner’s arrest and killing, 

In October 2021, the judicial inquiry began in New York State Supreme Court on October 25, 2021, and lasted for approximately two weeks, until November 5, 2021.

During the inquiry, we learned that NYPD Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick, who was in charge of the investigation of the killing, did not investigate illegal leaks of Eric Garner’s medical or sealed criminal legal records. Officer Justin Damico lied on official NYPD reports and Lt. Christopher Bannon texted it was “not a big deal” that Eric might be DOA (dead on arrival).

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 were represented by Alvin Bragg, Gideon Oliver, and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Help uplift the demands of Eric Garner’s family:

  • That ALL NYPD officers and officials who engaged in misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner be held accountable and fired from the NYPD.
  • For full access to ALL NYPD and CCRB records of the case.

News on Eric Garner

NYPD Watchdog Seeks Sharper Teeth Through Charter Revision

Gotham Gazette

When the NYPD decided earlier this month to move ahead with its departmental trial against two officers involved in the 2014 death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, it tasked the Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent watchdog agency, with prosecuting the charges. But that prosecutorial authority has yet to be codified into the City Charter, the city’s central governing document, a change that CCRB officials are seeking through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s charter revision commission.

Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s Mother, Escalates Her Campaign to Pressure the NYPD to Fire All the Officers Responsible for Killing Her Son

Carr Today Held a Media Availability After Her Meeting with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), and She Confronted Mayor de Blasio in Person Last Night.

New York, NY-  Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, is escalating her campaign to push the NYPD to serve charges and fire all the officers responsible for killing her son and related misconduct, not just Daniel Pantaleo and Sgt. Adonis.

This afternoon, she held a media availability following her meeting with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) in their disciplinary case against Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who used a chokehold that killed Garner. 

CPR Slams de Blasio for Cover-Up on Garner, Calls for Truly External Investigations into Corrupted NYPD Disciplinary Investigations for Serious Misconduct

In response to Mayor de Blasio claiming that the killing of Eric Garner wasn’t as clear as the police killings of civilians in other cities and defending the NYPD only bringing charges against two officers in Garner’s killing, Communities United for Police Reform released the following statement from spokesperson Loyda Colon, Co-Director of the Justice Committee.

“It’s disgusting and disgraceful for Mayor de Blasio to have said that Eric Garner’s killing by the NYPD he controls, which the world saw on video, was less clear-cut of an injustice than police killings of civilians in other cities. For four years, Mayor de Blasio misled the public about needing to wait for DOJ, which other police departments across the country did not do when their officers killed civilians and were investigated by DOJ.

Eric Garner’s Mother, Gwen Carr, Responds to Report That NYPD Will Begin Disciplinary Process Sooner Than Previously Indicated

In response to a report that the NYPD will begin the disciplinary process into NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo and Sergeant Kizzy Adonis sooner than they claimed in a letter to DOJ this week, Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, released the following statement.

“The de Blasio administration should never have waited for 4 years or until September because the idea that NYPD couldn’t have acted before DOJ has always been a lie. We exposed that September was an artificial timeline this week and it's unacceptable that the NYPD is saying that only two officers will face discipline charges when many more were involved in murdering my son, trying to cover it up and other related misconduct.

4 Years after Eric Garner’s Killing by NYPD, His Family & Supporters Tell Mayor de Blasio: NYPD Letter Isn’t Action; Stop Protecting, Identify & Fire Guilty Officers

NYPD letter to DOJ & Justice Department response shows de Blasio administration misled public, inaction was unjustified & there’s no reason to wait until September to discipline officers

Family and community demand that NYPD immediately begin disciplinary process to fire all officers who used excessive force in killing, failed to intervene, and then tried to cover it up with lies on official reports

On the day that marks four years since Eric Garner was killed by NYPD officers on Staten Island, Garner’s mother was joined by elected officials and community supporters to demand the de Blasio administration immediately start disciplinary action against the officers responsible for the killing and its related misconduct. Specifically, they demanded that Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD immediately hold all of the multiple officers who used excessive force against Garner – not just Pantaleo – accountable by bringing them up on disciplinary charges and firing them.

Advocates set to blame de Blasio for misleading public on Eric Garner case

Gwen Carr, mother of police victim Eric Garner, will accuse Mayor de Blasio of misleading the public on her son's case. Carr, politicians and other advocates were slated to appear at City Hall Tuesday afternoon. (James Keivom / New York Daily News)
New York Daily News

Supporters of the family of a Staten Island man who died when cops used a banned chokehold in his arrest will accuse Mayor de Blasio of misleading the public on the case.

Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, pols and other advocates were slated to appear at City Hall Tuesday to demand that the NYPD immediately begin disciplinary hearings against Officer Daniel Pantaleo and other cops involved in the fatal 2014 encounter.

Eric Garner Death: NYPD Trial 'Opportunistic' says Black Lives Matter Leader


The New York Police Department has vowed to move ahead with disciplinary proceedings against the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner if the U.S. Department of Justice does not announce a decision on whether it will press federal charges by the end of August. 

The NYPD's decision to move forward with its trial came on Monday, a day before the four-year anniversary of Garner's death. 

NYPD Plan To Hold Disciplinary Hearing In Four Year Old Eric Garner Case Derided As 'Political Theater'


Nearly four years to the day after Eric Garner was fatally choked by a police officer on a street corner in Staten Island, the NYPD says it now plans to move forward with internal disciplinary proceedings against the officers involved in Garner's death. In a letter sent to the Department of Justice on Monday, NYPD lawyer Lawrence Byrne said the DOJ has until August 31st to bring criminal charges against the officers, or else the NYPD would go ahead with a long-delayed internal hearing.

CPR Responds to NYPD Letter to U.S. Department of Justice Regarding Eric Garner

In response to the NYPD sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the killing of Eric Garner, Communities United for Police Reform released the following statement from spokesperson Carolyn Martinez-Class.

“This letter is more political theater by the de Blasio administration and NYPD to distract from the fact that four years after Eric Garner was killed, they have failed to hold any of the multiple officers responsible for the killing and related misconduct accountable.





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