Black sergeant charged for ‘failure to supervise’ in Eric Garner case

Photo courtesy of Adrian Franks
Photo courtesy of Adrian Franks

Someone is finally being charged in connection with the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who was confronted by Staten Island, New York, police officers and put in an illegal hold that literally choked the life out of him.

Though none of her underlings, the men who actually physically restrained Garner and ignored his weak cries of “I can’t breathe,” have been charged, their sergeant, Kizzy Adonis, an Black woman, has been subjected to disciplinary action in connection with the controversial case.

Adonis, whose gun and shield have been stripped from her, has been charged with four counts of failure to supervise, according to NYPD officials who released an internal department report. In the report, Adonis seems to explain why her officers failed to release their hold on Garner or offer him aid.

“The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and…he did not appear to get worse,” she reportedly said.

The widely circulated video that — along with the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, called into question the amount of force police used when interacting with minorities— Adonis can be seen standing by with her hands on her hips while her officers restrain Garner.

“She chose to go there to help out and look what happens,” Sgt. Ed Mullins, the president of Adonis’ union, told the Los Angeles Times. “This incident stems from failed [NYPD] policies that ultimately led to the death of Eric Garner.”

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who actually applied the illegal chokehold that fatally blocked Garner’s airway, has not yet faced any charges, but remains on modified duty.

While some consider Adonis, a 14-year police veteran, a sacrificial lamb the NYPD is offering in lieu of charging the officers responsible, Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner, hailed the decision.

“It’s a good thing, but it’s still not enough,” she said during a press conference Saturday, Jan. 9. “When they indict Daniel Pantaleo, then I’ll jump for joy. Until then, I’m just gonna keep going on, using your faith and my faith and the sight of God to see that they get what they deserve.”

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