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NYPD officer faces departmental charges in Eric Garner case

The department had held off on bringing charges in the 2014 incident, which left the 43-year old Staten Island man dead, to see whether the Department of Justice would commence a criminal case.

Supporters of Eric Garner's family rallied at City

Supporters of Eric Garner's family rallied at City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, to demand Mayor Bill de Blasio take action against the NYPD officers responsible for his death. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

An NYPD officer involved in 2014 death of Eric Garner was formally served with departmental charges Friday, a police spokesman said Saturday.

The NYPD spokesman said he could not legally disclose the charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, but law enforcement sources said they related to the excessive use of force.

The delivery of the charges followed the department’s announcement Thursday that it will immediately commence disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo and Sergeant Kizzy Adonis in connection to the death of Garner, 43, on Staten Island in July 2014.

Adonis was served with departmental charges in connection to the incident in 2016, but the department held off on disciplinary proceedings against the officers to see whether the U.S. Department of Justice would commence a criminal case.

But the federal agency told the NYPD this week that it did not object to the department carrying out its own disciplinary proceedings.

The city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board will handle Pantaleo’s case, while the NYPD’s Department Advocate will handle Adonis’ case, the spokesman said.

Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said: "Pantaleo has a right to a full and impartial hearing of all the evidence in the case.”

“We are confident that he will finally be vindicated,” he added.

Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said Adonis was charged with one count of failure to supervise properly and one count of conduct prejudicial to good order of the department.

“We look forward to the opportunity to be heard” at the department trial, he said.

Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, said in a statement Thursday: “We want all six police officers involved in my son’s murder to be held accountable.”

Police confronted Garner on July 17, 2014, on a Staten Island street following complaints that he was selling loose cigarettes. In an ensuing struggle, Pantaleo applied an apparent chokehold to Garner, who died on the sidewalk.

Chokeholds to subdue suspects have been banned by the NYPD for more than 20 years.

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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