NEW YORK, (CBS).– New York City’s police commissioner has scheduled a midday news conference as the city waits for his decision on whether to fire a police officer involved in the 2014 death of an unarmed black man. Police Commissioner James O’Neill said he would make an announcement at 12:30 p.m. Monday on an undisclosed topic.
O’Neill has been deliberating whether to accept a disciplinary judge’s recommendation that Officer Daniel Pantaleo be fired for using a banned chokehold on Eric Garner. Garner’s dying words of “I can’t breathe” became a flash point in a national debate over race and police use of force.
Pantaleo’s lawyer has said the officer didn’t mean to hurt Garner and insisted he did not use the banned chokehold. But in a disciplinary recommendation obtained by the New York Times, NYPD administrative judge Rosmarie Maldonado said video of the fatal encounter and autopsy results provided “overwhelming” evidence that Pantaleo used the banned maneuver.
According to the Times, Maldonado wrote that Pantaleo’s “use of a chokehold fell so far short of objective reasonableness that this tribunal found it to be reckless – a gross deviation from the standard of conduct established for a New York City police officer.”
A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo. Federal authorities announced last month they would not bring civil rights charges