NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Mayor Bill de Blasio is responding to criticism of his calling for the officer involved in the death of George Floyd to be charged after it took New York City five years to fire the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.

“I watched that video and my heart broke. To watch someone, before your very eyes, I could not believe the officers’ lack of concern. It was horrifying. And it just can’t go on this way,” he said. “I think the authorities in Minneapolis were right to say that this was something that needed to be acted upon immediately, and I have said from this point on in the city of New York we’re going to act immediately as well. This kind of thing just can’t happen.”

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Officer Daniel Pantaleo was ultimately fired by the NYPD five years after Garner’s death, following a lengthy inquiry. He has since sued the NYPD in an effort to get his job back.

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De Blasio was asked if saw any irony in his calling for those officers to be charged when he went through such a lengthy process with Pantaleo.

“We made a mistake. I made a mistake in believing the Department of Justice would do its job,” de Blasio said. “When the city took over, there was due process, there was a trial. Our police commissioner made a decision. It was the right decision. The thing I feel very clearly, in retrospect, is we should have ignored the Department of Justice because what the did was unconscionable in not acting, and just moved ahead. And that’s what we will do from now on, absolutely.”


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