Statement by Gwen Carr, Mother of Eric Garner, After NYPD Cuts Deal With Supervising Officer in Garner Killing
Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, reacts to news that the NYPD cut a deal with Sgt. Kizzy Adonis for her role in Garner’s death. Adonis was charged over three years ago for failing to properly supervise the scene where former Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Garner. According to reports, as part of the deal, Adonis will keep her job and lose just 20 vacation days.
Statement by Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner:
“I'm not one bit surprised but I am outraged and disgusted by how the de Blasio administration and the NYPD continue to show that they don't care about the murder of my son or Black lives. Sgt. Adonis has had charges pending for years. It's disgraceful that they waited more than 5 years until after Pantaleo was fired to cut her a deal so that all she's facing is losing some vacation days and they want us to accept these crumbs as if there is some justice.
“By refusing to schedule a disciplinary trial for Adonis, de Blasio and the NYPD are actively participating in an ongoing cover-up because they don't want the public to know how deep, how wide and how high the wrongdoing in this case went. Their actions are disgraceful but I am not going to back down. I will continue to fight until the Mayor and NYPD bring disciplinary charges and fire Justin D'Amico, Lt. Christopher Bannon, Craig Furlani, and Mark Ramos - and until they release the names of other officers who engaged in misconduct like illegally leaking sealed records. I'm going to continue to fight because letting these officers stay on the force and continue to be paid by taxpayers is an injustice to Eric and it's dangerous for all New Yorkers.”
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.
- NYPD should bring disciplinary charges against Officer Justin D’Amico – During the Pantaleo trial, it was revealed that D’Amico had filed false felony charges 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 only had his arm around Garner’s body, not his neck – 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 over a football field’s length away from what he claimed to see. 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 texted “Not a big deal” to Sgt. Dhanan Saminath 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 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