Following Pantaleo Firing, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and CPR demand firing of all officers who committed misconduct in Garner killing
Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, reacts to the firing of the NYPD officer who unjustly killed her son.
On August 19, 2019, NYPD Commissioner O’Neill announced the termination of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in accordance with the recommendation of the administrative judge in Pantaleo’s disciplinary trial, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado. According to The New York Times, Maldonado’s report confirmed that Pantaleo used a chokehold on Garner, that Pantaleo lied to NYPD internal affairs, and that multiple other NYPD officers who testified for Pantaleo were “unhelpful or unreliable.”
Statement by Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner:
"I have fought for this day for five long years. I commend Commissioner O'Neill for doing the right thing by firing Pantaleo. It is some relief to see Pantaleo finally face consequences for Eric’s murder, but this is long overdue and not nearly enough. Every last NYPD officer who allowed Pantaleo to put Eric in that chokehold, who pounced on Eric and who aided in the cover-up must be held accountable. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD cannot claim this ends with Pantaleo’s firing; this is the time for them to end their obstruction, stop spreading misleading talking points, and finally hold every officer responsible accountable.
“Judge Maldonado’s report confirmed what I have been saying for more than five years: Pantaleo used a banned chokehold, murdered my son and should have been fired years ago. Judge Maldonado also confirmed that other officers' testimony was unreliable. She pointed out that Justin D'Amico not only issued false felony charges against my son, but he also lied on the arrest report by falsely saying no force was used. He should be fired.
“A disciplinary trial for Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, the only other officer who has been charged so far, must be scheduled immediately, and every other officer responsible for my son’s death and for covering it up – including Justin D’Amico, Lt Christopher Bannon, Craig Furlani, Mark Ramos and officers whose names we still don’t have that did wrong – they all need to be charged and fired. Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O’Neill must stop their obstruction and not only act to bring these charges, but also be fully transparent and reveal the names of the other officers who committed misconduct who they have been protecting. Their involvement in this cover-up has been a scandal.
“This process should never have taken this long. New Yorkers should know that officers who kill our children will be fired immediately, not five years later, if at all. New Yorkers shouldn’t have to wonder if the police they encounter every day have helped cover up a murder, as so many did with my son. Every officer who did wrong should be fired. I will continue this fight, and I ask that everyone who supports me in NYC and around the country fight until we have true accountability."
Statement by Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) spokesperson Anthonine Pierre:
“Daniel Pantaleo’s firing is a welcome first step, but we know that the fight for real justice continues. Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have obstructed and delayed accountability and justice for Eric Garner's family for more than five years – and their obstruction is still ongoing.
"Even the announcement of Pantaleo's firing was disrespectful. While the CCRB kept Gwen Carr informed every step of the way during the discipline trial, the NYPD failed to extend the most basic courtesy of providing Eric's mother advance notice of the decision to fire Pantaleo. She heard about the decision with everyone else, when it was announced.
"Commissioner O'Neill did the right thing by finally firing Pantaleo. Now he and Mayor de Blasio must do the right thing by ensuring that every officer responsible for misconduct related to Eric’s unjust killing is charged and fired, and they must schedule a trial for Kizzy Adonis immediately. Anything less is justice denied.
"Mayor de Blasio has tried to tell the City that justice has been served and we should move on. We reject his brazen attempt to sweep other misconduct in the killing of Eric Garner under the rug.
- Justin D'Amico filed false felony charges against Eric after he knew he was dead and lied in his official report claiming no force was used. D'Amico is a danger to New Yorkers and should be charged and fired.
- Sgt. Kizzy Adonis has had discipline charges pending for years for her failure to supervise, but the NYPD has still not scheduled a discipline trial. This is a scandal, Adonis' trial should be scheduled and she should be fired.
- Lt. Christopher Bannon texted “Not a big deal” after learning that Eric Garner had no pulse and might be dead on arrival. In response to this news, Mayor de Blasio stated “It’s unacceptable” but he and the NYPD still haven't taken disciplinary action. Bannon should be charged and fired.
- Officers Mark Ramos & Craig Furlani testified during the Pantaleo trial that they heard Eric Garner say “I can’t breathe” multiple times but did not provide aid or intervene on Pantaleo’s use of the prohibited chokehold. Ramos & Furlani should be charged and fired.
- Other NYPD officials and officers engaged in misconduct in the killing of Eric Garner, including false statements and illegally leaking sealed records related to his medical history and past contact with law enforcement. The identities of each of those officials and officers should be released and they should be fired.
“Our members and partners will continue to stand with Gwen Carr and her family. This family has struggled for justice for five years, and sadly even this is not the end. We will continue to fight alongside Eric's mother until D'Amico, Bannon, Adonis and every other NYPD officer who is a danger to NYC is off the force.”
In July 2014, Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner using a chokehold banned by the NYPD for more than 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, which 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 leaking sealed medical and other records to criminalize Garner and lying on official reports.
It has been five years since Garner was killed and only Officer Daniel Pantaleo been fired and held accountable. And that was only the result of public pressure and the Civilian Complaint Review Board’s substantiation of charges forced the case to trial.
Gwen Carr has called for the firing of all officers who engaged in misconduct – and for Mayor de Blasio to ensure the discipline processes for other officers beyond Pantaleo move forward.
- Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD should immediately end delays to scheduling Sgt. Kizzy Adonis’ disciplinary trial– , reportedly for failure to supervise. Adonis was served with charges almost three years before Pantaleo was formally served with charges but has yet to have a disciplinary trial scheduled.
- NYPD should bring disciplinary charges against Officer Justin D’Amico – During the Pantaleo trial, it was revealed that D’Amico had against Eric Garner, after he knew that Garner was already dead. This is both morally reprehensible and dangerous conduct to allow an officer to engage in and get away with. In addition, there are real questions about D’Amico’s overall credibility: He testified that Pantaleo – and he was the only person who has ever claimed to have “seen” Garner allegedly selling cigarettes. Multiple witnesses have given statements over the past five years and two provided testimony during the Pantaleo trial that Garner had just broken up a fight and was not selling cigarettes when he was approached by D’Amico and Pantaleo. At the trial, CCRB demonstrated that D’Amico’s claim that Garner was selling cigarettes lacked credibility given that he was . DCT Maldonado’s report stated that D’Amico falsely claimed there was no use of force in his report on the killing. There may have been additional related misconduct committed by D’Amico that was not revealed during the Pantaleo trial.
- NYPD should bring disciplinary charges against Lt. Christopher Bannon – Lt. Bannon was the supervisor who to Sgt. Dhanan Saminath after learning that Eric Garner had no pulse and might be dead on arrival. In response to this news, but he and the NYPD have not indicated that they will take any disciplinary action.
- NYPD should bring disciplinary charges against Officers Mark Ramos & Craig Furlani – Both officers testified during the Pantaleo trial that they heard Eric Garner say “I can’t breathe” multiple times but did not provide aid or intervene on Pantaleo’s use of the prohibited chokehold.
- NYPD should bring disciplinary charges against NYPD officials and/or officers who participated in illegally leaking Eric Garner’s sealed records related to his medical history and past contact with law enforcement, and those who provided false statements or engaged in other misconduct related to the incident–Their identities should be publicly disclosed and they should be disciplined. The NYPD routinely illegally leaks sealed information to media, in spite of clear laws against such conduct that seeks to criminalize and blame victims for their own deaths or brutality against them. Allowing these practices to continue without disciplinary consequences and while hiding the identities of those responsible, sends the message that NYPD activities that cover-up misconduct will be protected by the City and NYPD.
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.Topics: Eric Garner