NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo escaped justice last week when a Staten Island, New York, grand jury refused to indict him in the homicide of Black father Eric Garner. Garner’s death was captured on video as Pantaleo used an illegal chokehold to subdue the man. Much has been said in the media about Garner’s frequent arrests for selling loose cigarettes, but nothing about Pantaleo’s multiple charges of abusing black men during arrests.
NYPD officials have confirmed that Pantaleo’s received at least 3 lawsuits regarding his abusive behavior. In February of 2012, Pantaleo initiated a traffic stop on Darren Collins and Tommy Rice. The two men were accused by Pantaleo of passing drugs and he ordered them out of the vehicle. During the search of the two men,Pantaleo pulled Rice’s pants and underwear down and slapped his genitals. This strip search was down on the street at 10:30 in the morning causing humiliating the 2 men. No drugs were found on the men and they sued Pantaleo. The city settled out of court with the men for $15,000 a piece.
Also in 2012, Pantaleo was sued by Rylawn Walker who he arrested and charged him with marijuana related offenses. However, Walker stated that he was “committing no crime at that time and was not acting in a suspicious manner.” Pantaleo was found to have lied during his arresting report and all charges were dismissed against Walker. The court records were sealed and Walker’s lawsuit is still pending.
The most recent incident involving Pantaleo occurred in November of 2012 when Pantaleo arrested Kenneth Collins. Like in his previous arrests of suspects, Pantaleo accused Collins of possessing marijuana and stripped searched him. Collins stated that Pantaleo touched his genitals and degraded him during the process. No drugs were found and all charges were dismissed against Collins. The records regarding the incident were sealed by court order and the city has not responded to the lawsuit that was filed by Collins lawyers.
As previously reported by rolling out, the Staten Island precinct has been a dumping ground for bad cops. There have been multiple complaints; Pantaleo is just the latest.