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“I’m Tired of the Lies. We All Saw the Truth On Video”: In New Statement, Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s Mother, Reacts to First Day of Pantaleo's Trial

New York, NY – Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, released the following statement after experiencing the first day of the NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo’s trial for killing Garner:  

“Today was very hard. My family and I had to sit through Pantaleo's attorneys try to blame my son Eric Garner for his own murder.  I'm tired of the lies and misdirection from Daniel Pantaleo’s lawyers. Today we heard the truth - my son was murdered during an illegal arrest. He had just broken up a fight. The police who claim he was selling loosies have been lying all along, just like we've said. They can call Pantaleo's chokehold whatever fancy term they want to try to confuse people; it doesn't matter – because the facts and the video speak for themselves,” said Ms. Carr.

“We all saw the truth on video. Like the CCRB said in their opening statement this morning, Pantaleo used a chokehold that the NYPD banned without exception for over 20 years because it is lethal - and he choked the life out of my son. For Pantaleo’s lawyers to try to claim that he didn’t use a chokehold on Eric is ridiculous,” said Ms. Carr.

“My family and I have been fighting for five years to get justice and accountability for Eric’s death. Pantaleo should have been fired years ago after murdering my son Eric. He and all the other officers who engaged in misconduct that led to my son's death and the attempted cover-up must be fired. It’s time for Pat Lynch, the police union and Daniel Pantaleo’s lawyers to stop playing games and recognize that Pantaleo must be held accountable for murdering my son Eric. It's time for Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to stop obstructing and delaying justice for my son Eric, they need to charge and schedule discipline trials for all the other officers who were part of the wrongdoing,” said Ms. Carr.

In July 2014, Eric Garner’s death was captured on video. The video showed Pantaleo and a number of NYPD officers using force for the illegal arrest, and many who failed to intervene or provide aid while Garner said "I can't breathe" eleven times. 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 Garner, and lying on official reports. 

It has been almost five years since Eric Garner was killed and no officer involved has gone through a disciplinary process related to this case. Pantaleo is the only officer that has a trial scheduled, and that is only because public pressure and the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s (CCRB) substantiation of charges forced the case to trial.

Gwen Carr has issued the following demands: 

1) The NYPD must fire Officer Pantaleo. 

2) The NYPD must schedule the disciplinary trial for Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, the only other officer with any current pending disciplinary charges - and fire her.

3) The NYPD must bring discipline charges against all of the officers who engaged in misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner and the attempted cover-up, including those who leaked sealed information and lied on official records in an attempt to cover-up the killing. 

Along with Pantaleo and Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, NYPD officers Justin Damico, Mark Ramos, and Craig Furlani were all reportedly involved in killing Garner- by either failing to intervene and/or engaging in the illegal arrest of Eric Garner.  Also, Sgt. Dhanan Saminath reportedly claimed in an official police report that Garner “did not appear to be in great distress,” which is patently false.  

Those are just the names of NYPD officers known to be involved in Garner’s death. Mayor de Blasio has allowed the NYPD to withhold the names of other officers involved in Garner’s killing, who may have failed to intervene, tried to cover it up, or engaged in related misconduct.


About Communities United for Police Reform

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Topics: Eric Garner