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NYPD judge rules Officer Pantaleo should be fired, was ‘untruthful’ in Eric Garner case

Posted: 6:45 AM, Aug 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-19 07:42:54-04

The NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado has ruled Officer Daniel Pantaleo's use of a chokehold in the July 2014 arrest of Eric Garner was misconduct, and the cause of 43-year-old Garner's death, according to her full 46-page report , first obtained by the New York Times on Sunday.

Writing of Pantaleo's actions during Garner's arrest, Maldonado said "this tribunal found it to be reckless -- a gross deviation from the standard of conduct established for a New York City police officer."

The judge called Pantaleo "untruthful" during the investigation and called fellow police officers who testified in the case "unhelpful or unreliable."

The report comes just over two weeks after Pantaleo was suspended after sources said at the time that Maldonado recommended he be terminated from the police force.

Earlier this summer, Attorney General William Barr declined to bring federal charges  against the embattled officer.

Although Maldonado issued the recommendation, Police Commissioner James O’Neill has the final say.

News could come as soon as Monday if Pantaleo is officially fired.

Garner  died on July 17, 2014 , after police attempted to arrest the 43-year-old father of six, who was allegedly selling loose cigarettes illegally on Staten Island, a crime for which he previously he had been arrested.

In the video, Pantaleo can be seen wrapping one arm around Garner's shoulder and the other around his neck before jerking him back and pulling him to the ground. As Pantaleo forces Garner's head into the sidewalk, Garner can be heard saying, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe."

Activists and lawyers for the Civilian Complaint Review Board call the maneuver Pantaleo used on Garner an illegal chokehold. But union officials and the officer's lawyers describe it as a "seatbelt hold" -- a takedown move taught to rookies at the police academy -- and blame Garner's death on his poor health.