New York, NY — The New York City Council Progressive Caucus stands with the Black Latino Asian Caucus (BLAC) and the family of Eric Garner in demanding justice through the immediate firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo and immediate scheduling of disciplinary trials for the other officers who engaged in misconduct surrounding the killing of Eric Garner. The Progressive Caucus has called for justice repeatedly in the past five years, as in 2017, when a city employee was fired for leaking the disciplinary record of Officer Pantaleo, and in 2014, when a grand jury failed to indict Officer Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner.

In July 2014, Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner using a chokehold, which was captured on video as Garner exclaimed “I can’t breathe” 11 times. It has been almost 5 years since Eric Garner was killed and no officer involved has completed a disciplinary process related to this case. It is only because of public pressure and the CCRB’s substantiation of charges that has forced the case to trial.

After nearly five years of stalling on the part of the de Blasio administration and the NYPD, on Wednesday, June 5, Officer Pantaleo’s internal discipline trial will continue.

Five years is far too long, and Garner’s family and the public deserve accountability, transparency, and justice. The Progressive Caucus stands in solidarity with Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, in demanding that Officer Pantaelo be fired immediately and that all officers involved in Garner’s death face disciplinary charges. The Mayor and the NYPD should release the names of all officers engaged in misconduct related to Garner’s death (including leaking sealed information on Garner’s record and misinformation on official records), and these officers must be held accountable for their actions through disciplinary charges.

“Our justice system has repeatedly failed the Garner family. Officer Pantaleo must be fired immediately and the officers involved in Garner’s death must be held accountable,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, Member of the BLAC. “I wholeheartedly stand with my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus in demanding the NYPD hold its officers responsible and deliver long-awaited justice to the Garner family.”

“The world watched as Eric Garner was killed while in the hands of the NYPD and there is no doubt in my mind that he would be alive today if a chokehold was not placed around his neck on that tragic day in 2014,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “The results of this case will send a message to New Yorkers as well as every NYPD officer about how the NYPD will hold their officers accountable in 2019 and beyond. Justice has been delayed for far too long. Justice has been denied for Eric’s family. But this family deserves some semblance of peace that can only be achieved by the Police Department acknowledging that the conduct that led to his death is completely unacceptable behavior. Officer Pantaleo must be fired.”

“It is indefensible that the Garner family must still fight for justice five years after Eric Garner’s death,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “Our justice system has failed them. All officers responsible must be held accountable. Without accountability, there can be no justice. Every day Daniel Pantaleo keeps his job is another day of justice denied.”

“It has been five years since the death of Eric Garner, and we are still waiting for the de Blasio administration and NYPD to hold those responsible for Garner’s death accountable,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “Eric Garner’s family has been denied justice for far too long.  I stand in solemn solidarity with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, in demanding that Officer Pantaleo be fired immediately and that all officers involved in Garner’s death face disciplinary charges. I will continue to fight alongside Communities United for Police Reform, NYC Council Progressive and BLAC Caucus members to bring transparency and accountability to the NYPD so that no other family has to endure such an injustice.”

“Firing Daniel Pantaleo will do little to make up for five years of failure to the Garner family, who have been let down every step of the way by a justice system that is supposed to hold all accountable, even those with a police badge. But showing Pantaleo the door will finally prove to the public that the NYPD will not tolerate nor employ an individual who commits violence against those they are sworn to protect, said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Member of the Progressive Caucus and BLAC. “I stand with my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus and Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus in saying that we need #JusticeForEricGarner.

“We need to work to restore faith in community policing,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “It is unacceptable that in a progressive City like ours, it has been over five years since Eric Garner’s death and his family is yet to see anyone held accountable. I stand with the Progressive Caucus in demanding justice for Eric Garner who died as a result of misconduct.”

“I am proud to stand with my colleagues to call for long-delayed justice for Eric Garner,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Vice-Chair is the Progressive Caucus. “It’s a failure of the system that five years later, we are still seeking a resolution in the name of his memory and for his family.”

“The world would never have known Daniel Pantaleo choked Eric Garner to death had it not been for a video, but the fact he isn’t behind bars shows there is no consequence for police officers that kill unarmed black men and women – even when it’s in technicolor,”
said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus Co-Chair, Member of the Progressive Caucus. “The NYPD has allowed Daniel Pantaleo to feather his nest on the taxpayers’ dime in the five years since he choked the life out of Eric Garner despite having a history of misconduct. If the Department truly values the credibility it has gained in recent years, it can’t be complicit in behavior that causes unarmed men and women of color to be killed. Justice demands the immediate termination of Daniel Pantaleo. Failure to have justice will only perpetuate the future loss of life.”

“As we prepare to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Eric Garner’s death, it is unconscionable that no action has been taken against the officers who took the life of my constituent,” said Council Member Debi Rose, Member of Progressive Caucus. “He was a son, father and husband, as well as a friend and neighbor to many. His life matters. Deadly actions in any profession have grave consequences, and the NYPD should be no different.

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