Contact: Liv Kittel 202-448-0214

BREAKING NEWS: Mother of Eric Garner Addresses DOJ Refusal to Bring Charges Against NYPD Officer Who Killed Her Son

New York, NY – One day before the fifth anniversary of the unjust killing of Eric Garner, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to bring federal charges against Garner’s killer, NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, and sister, Ellisha Flagg-Garner, will address the DOJ decision in a 1:00 p.m. press conference on the steps of City Hall.

On Tuesday, July 16, the Justice Department announced they will not bring federal charges against Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner in 2014 with a chokehold that has been banned by the NYPD for over two decades. Ms. Carr is calling on the NYPD to fire not only Pantaleo but all other officers responsible for misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner and attempts to cover it up.  

Below is more background on the Garner case, and Ms. Carr’s demands for the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

WHEN: July 16, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. EST


·         Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner

·         Ellisha Flagg-Garner, sister of Eric Garner

·         Communities United for Police Reform

·         New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

·         New York City Councilmember Daneek Miller, Co-chair of Black, Latino, Asian Caucus (BLAC)

·         Justice Committee

WHERE: New York City Hall, City Hall Steps, New York, NY 10007

RSVP: Please RSVP to Liv Kittel at Liv [at]

MORE BACKGROUND: In July 2014, Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner using a chokehold banned by the NYPD for over two decades. While the NYPD claimed that Garner was selling cigarettes, multiple witnesses have testified under oath that Garner had just broken up a fight before the false arrest.

The killing was captured on video, and the video showed a number of 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 leaked sealed medical and other records to criminalize Garner, and lied on official reports. 

It has been almost five years since Eric Garner was killed and only Officer Daniel Pantaleo has gone through a disciplinary trial related to this case - and that is only because public pressure and the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s substantiation of charges forced the case to trial.

Gwen Carr has issued the following demands: 

1.       The NYPD must fire Officer Pantaleo, without a "good guy letter" and without non-mandatory benefits

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 - and fire them.

Along with Pantaleo and Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, NYPD officers Justin D'Amico, Mark Ramos, Lt. Christopher Bannon, Craig Furlani, Sgt Dhanan Saminath were all reportedly involved in killing Garner- by either failing to intervene, engaging in the illegal arrest of Eric Garner, and/or other misconduct. 

D'Amico lied about Eric selling cigarettes, initiating the illegal arrest of Eric and added a false felony charge after he knew that Garner was dead. During the Pantaleo discipline trial, it was revealed that Lt Bannon sent a text to an officer that Garner’s death was “not a big deal” after being notified he might be DOA. Furlani and Ramos heard Garner say he couldn't breathe and refused to provide aid or intervene on Pantaleo's banned chokehold.

Additionally, Saminath reportedly claimed in an official police report that Garner “did not appear to be in great distress,” which is patently false.  

Carr is calling on all of these officers to be fired.

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

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.

CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.

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Topics: Eric Garner