The New York Police Department announced that the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner has been stripped of his badge and gun. The officer has been identified as Daniel Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran on the force. He has been reassigned to desk duty while an Internal Affairs investigation is pending. Another officer involved in the incident has also been reassigned to desk duty but allowed to keep his badge and gun.
Garner, 43, was a black father of six and grandfather of two who was confronted by Pantaleo for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. However witness accounts state that Garner had just broken up a fight and was minding his own business. The situation soon escalated to where Pantaleo placed Garner in a choke hold that was against departmental policy. Garner is heard saying “I can’t breathe” and soon lies dead on the street.
This is not the first incident were Officer Pantaleo has been investigated by Internal Affairs. New York based CBS news affiliate reports that three men have sued Pantaleo within the last two years over unlawful, racially motivated arrests. The city settled one of the lawsuits in which Pantaleo illegally strip searched two black men in their 40s on a New York street.