Mayor de Blasio Continues to Hide Critical Information Related to Killing of Eric Garner 6.5+ Years Later
Last week, lawyers for Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and other petitioners, asked that the City of New York turn over documents and records as part of discovery in a judicial inquiry into the violations and neglect of duty by Mayor de Blasio and top NYPD and city officials, related to the unjust killing of Eric Garner.
The City is currently attempting to block the historic judicial inquiry by appealing two 2020 decisions allowing it to proceed. Petitioners, including Gwen Carr, Communities United for Police Reform, and the Justice Committee, are once again calling on the Mayor to stop obstructing transparency into Eric Garner’s killing and drop the appeal.
In February, Supreme Court Justice Erika M. Edwards directed petitioners to submit reasonable requests for discovery to the City, despite the ongoing appeal, which petitioners did on Tuesday. The parties are due back in court for a public hearing at 10:00am on April 20th to resolve any disputes on the requests and to determine if discovery will be granted.
“The reason I can’t trust anything the Mayor or the NYPD Commissioner have said in recent weeks about NYPD reform and discipline is because they’re still trying to hide information about my son, Eric Garner’s, killing six and half years later” said Gwen Carr (she/her), mother of Eric Garner. “I’ve been fighting for Eric since 2014 and the Mayor and the NYPD have tried to block transparency at every turn. They need to stop delaying and allow this case to go forward. It’s time for them to drop the appeal and tell the truth about my son’s killing and the NYPD’s cover-up.”
The request for discovery included:
- The entire NYPD and CCRB disciplinary histories for Christopher Bannon, Justin D’Amico, Craig Furlani, Williams Meems, Daniel Pantaleo, Mark Ramos, and Dhanan Saminath and other NYPD members who were present at the scene of Eric Garner’s stop and arrest.
- Information related to any investigation or disciplinary action taken with respect to Officer D’Amico’s lies about Eric Garner’s killing.
- Information related to any investigation or disciplinary action taken with respect to the inappropriate and invasive leak of Eric Garner’s sealed criminal history or private medical information.
- Information about whether or not the Mayor, Commissioner, or other top leaders considered or undertook any investigation or disciplinary action for the needless stop and arrest of Eric Garner and the extent of force used by the officers who were with Daniel Pantaleo.
“The New York State Supreme Court ruled that this case can move forward, so if Mayor de Blasio has nothing to hide, he should drop his appeal instead of continuing to collude with the NYPD to hide why no other cops have been fired for their roles in the killing of Eric Garner,” said Loyda Colon (they/them), spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform and Executive Director of the Justice Committee. “De Blasio has been trying to distract New Yorkers with his illegitimate police reform proposals that do nothing to reduce police violence. If de Blasio was serious about reducing police violence, he would drop his appeal and delay tactics, but instead he's doing what he always does - blocking transparency and protecting abusive cops, like Justin D’Amico and others, who engaged in misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner and remain on the force.”
“The Mayor and the NYPD have been delaying and hiding critical information related to the killing of Eric Garner for nearly seven years,” said Mark Winston Griffith (he/him), Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center. “The historic judicial inquiry that Ms. Carr and other petitioners brought last year could potentially bring to light critical information. The City needs to drop their appeal of this case and allow Eric Garner’s family and the activists and organizers who have been demanding justice, to see the full extent of the NYPD’s complicity in his killing.”
A historic petition was filed in August 2019, demanding a judicial inquiry into the violation and neglect of duty by Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner O’Neill, and others related to the unjust killing of Eric Garner. Petitioners included 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 Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Mark Winston Griffith of Brooklyn Movement Center, and Kesi Foster of Make the Road New York.
In September of 2020, NY Supreme Court Justice Joan A. Madden ruled to allow the judicial inquiry to proceed. Unhappy with the court’s decision to allow the petition to proceed, the City tried once again 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, Justice Madden rejected the City’s arguments, meaning that further proceedings related to the inquiry could move forward, unless the City seeks and wins a stay from an appeals court. Now, the Mayor’s legal team is attempting to stay the proceedings again. Gwen Carr, Communities United for Police Reform, Justice Committee, and the other petitioners are calling on the de Blasio administration to drop their appeal.
As part of a judicial inquiry, Mayor de Blasio, former NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, and others could be called to take the stand as part of the investigation into the city’s neglect and violation of duties related to the killing of Eric Garner.
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 reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing 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 most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.Topics: Eric Garner