NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Sergeants Benevolent Association is blasting the NYPD for penalizing the commanding officer in the Eric Garner chokehold case.
Kizzy Adonis reached a plea deal to keep her job. Her union said Thursday she’s being made a political scapegoat, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
The NYPD decided Adonis will not stand trial. She will lose 20 vacation days in exchange for a guilty plea on charges of failure to supervise, but the SBA said Adonis pleaded no contest and never admitted guilt.
“Fact, Sgt. Adonis never failed to supervise. She did her job. She was in simple terms sacrificed by then-Commissioner [Bill] Bratton in order to offset public pressure,” SBA President Ed Mullins said.
Web Extra: SBA Reacts After Sgt. Adonis Disciplined In Garner Death:
The SBA said another sergeant was in charge of the Staten Island scene in 2014. Adonis, a newly promoted sergeant at the time, arrived after Officer Daniel Panteleo had already wrestled Garner to the ground.
“You were never told the truth of who was in charge that night and the dirty little secret which is a common practice to not do, that occurred by having one sergeant do two jobs,” Mullins said. “The current patrol supervisor then advised her, and I quote, ‘You go. I got this.'”
The disciplinary action against Adonis comes just two days after Panteleo was fired for putting Garner in a banned chokehold.
CBS2 asked the NYPD how Adonis failed to supervise. The department would only say Commissioner James O’Neill evaluated her supervising performance that day and found it was “lacking in certain areas.”
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, was outraged by Adonis’ deal with the NYPD, saying: “It’s disgraceful that they waited more than five years until after Pantaleo was fired to cut her a deal so that all she’s facing is losing some vacation days and they want us to accept these crumbs as if there is some justice.
“I’m just here today to say it’s not over,” Carr added. “All the officers have to stand accountable for what they did to my son.”
On Thursday, Commissioner O’Neill explained the department was held back on taking action.
“Initially, was the Staten Island grand jury did not indict Officer Pantaleo and through conversations with the Department of Justice they asked us to hold off on moving forward with our administrative trial,” O’Neill said. “And then in the summer of 2018 they said we could go ahead. They gave us the green light to go ahead.”
The SBA and Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch have been very critical of O’Neill’s decision to fire Panteleo, with Mullins saying Thursday, “Commissioner O’Neill, I ask you for the good this department, I urge you, to do what’s right and resign immediately.”
O’Neill, however, continues to defend his choice.
“My skin was very thin when I started this job three years ago. It’s not so thin anymore,” O’Neill said. “This is what Patty does. He thinks this is the proper way to represent his membership, but my job is to protect everybody in this city. The message is that there is accountability in the NYPD.”
Garner’s family is asking the Richmond County district attorney to continue investigating all potential criminality in the case. His mother said until that’s done this case is not closed.