Daniel Pantaleo, the officer responsible for using an illegal chokehold that killed Eric Garner back in 2014, is suing the New York Police Department and the police commissioner to get his job back.
Pantaleo’s lawyer, Stuart London, told the New York Post that they filed the lawsuit on Wednesday and argued that Panaleo’s termination following an administrative trial was “arbitrary and capricious.” Police Commissioner James O’Neill fired Pantaleo, who is white, back in August for using the illegal chokehold, saying Pantaleo had broken department rules and could “no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.”
London filed the court documents on behalf of Pantaleo in the state supreme court in Manhattan. “We will have many arguments, not the least of which will be the ridiculousness of the reckless assault convictions … in which all of his contacts with Mr. Garner were appropriate and taught in the academy,” London said. He said that Pantaleo never put any pressure on Garner’s neck and that he likely died from either a lung or heart condition.
“We will have many arguments, not the least of which will be the ridiculousness of the reckless assault convictions … in which all of his contacts with Mr. Garner were appropriate and taught in the academy,” London said. He claims Pantaleo didn’t apply pressure to Garner’s neck and said the victim likely died from a lung or heart condition. “Had Mr. Garner not resisted and not had such a compromised health situation, the result may have been very different,” London said. A spokesman for the law department told CNN it “will defend the Administrative Law Judge’s finding and recommendation and the Police Commissioner’s decision.”
Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network was critical of the decision to file the lawsuit. “Pantaleo’s decision to seek his reinstatement is not only disrespectful to the Police Commissioner and NYPD but also the Garner family,” Sharpton said in a statement. “He has shown no contrition or acknowledgment of his violent actions that ultimately killed Eric Garner.”