NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The former NYPD officer fired in the chokehold death of Eric Garner is now suing the city and the department.
Daniel Pantaleo filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Civil Court, in the hopes of getting his job back.
“He never should of been fired! He was scapegoated by a cowardice police commissioner. The real story as to why officers were making an arrest for loose cigarettes was never told. Shame exist within Police Plaza. Tell Garner’s mother the truth,” the Sergeants Benevolent Association posted Tuesday on Twitter.
Pantaleo was fired in August; more than five years after Garner’s death.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Pantaleo was fired for using a banned chokehold on Garner, who was seen arguing with officers while being arrested for illegally selling loose and untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner.
“Daniel Pantaleo had a fair administrative trial that concluded with an NYPD Judge recommending he be fired immediately. Pantaleo’s decision to seek his reinstatement is not only disrespectful to the Police Commissioner and NYPD, but also the Garner family. He has shown no contrition or acknowledgment of his violent actions that ultimately killed Eric Garner,” Rev. Al Sharpton said in a statement. “If Pantaleo’s case goes to trial, the National Action Network, Black clergy members, and civil rights leaders will pack the courts while wearing neck braces to show solidarity in our fight for justice for the Garner family and victims of police brutality. And if Pantaleo wins this lawsuit, he will continue to pose a threat to all Black and Brown people in New York City.”