Documents Show Officer That Killed Eric Garner Had Long History of Using Excessive Force


The officer that caused the chokehold death of Eric Garner in 2014 had a clear history of using excessive force during stops and arrests.

Newly obtained documents outline the disciplinary history of the officer who choked Garner to death on Staten Island in 2014.

According to NYDailyNews, the documents were sent to the website ThinkProgress by an anonymous employee of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, and outline how the CCRB had four complaints and recommended disciplinary action against Daniel Pantaleo years before he encountered Garner, who was selling loose cigarettes on July 17, 2014.

The agency found credible allegations about an “abusive” stop and frisk in 2011 and 2012, to which the CCRB recommended he receive a talking-to, but no further discipline.

The abusive stop and frisk in 2012 had recommended the loss of eight vacation days as punishment, but the NYPD gave him just two.

Other complaints include Pantaleo being accused of failing to seek medical aid for someone in 2009, stiking another person with an object in 2011, and made bad car stops and searches twice in 2012. He also was accused of improperly using physical force in 2013.

All of those cases were closed either because the CCRB ruled the claims could not be verified or the victim became uncooperative.

In all, eight or more CCRB complaints were filed against Pantaleo – higher than normal for an individual NYPD officer.

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Garner lost his life after yelling “I can’t breathe” repeatedly during the encounter with Pantaleo – a term that became a battle cry of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

In December 2014, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict the officer. A federal civil rights investigation is ongoing, with no end in sight. The city settled with Garner’s family in a lawsuit they filed for $5.9 million.