Pantaleo Fired

The Story

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who restrained Eric Garner in Staten Island five years ago, was fired Monday by NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, following a finding of culpability by an administrative judge. According to advocates, Pantaleo—whom a grand jury refused to indict and two U.S. attorneys general refused to prosecute—was guilty of killing Garner through the use of a prohibited chokehold. Others contend that Garner’s death was caused by his poor health, and that he shouldn’t have resisted arrest. The case raised many questions about police use of force and may end up setting an unrealistic standard of restraint for cops.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Force: New York State penal law allows police officers to use force in order to effect an arrest. Read more.

  2. Choke: Garner supporters accuse Pantaleo of using a restricted chokehold, though the U.S. Justice Department declared the opposite after its extensive five-year investigation. Read more.

  3. Restraint: Police interaction with civilians in New York City is characterized by restraint in the use of force. Read more.

“The problem is, the [chokehold] rule itself is inconsistently enforced, probably because a literal interpretation of it is impractical for real-life police work.”

Barry Latzer

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

No, the Cops Didn’t Murder Sean Bell By Heather Mac Donald (Winter 2007)

“Why don’t the anti-cop agitators shoulder the responsibility for public safety in even one inner-city neighborhood, in lieu of those dangerous NYPD officers?”

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