NYPD officer fired 5 years after Eric Garner chokehold death

NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill announced Monday that officer Daniel Pantaleo has been dismissed from the NYPD five years after the death of Eric Garner.
25:40 | 08/19/19

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Transcript for NYPD officer fired 5 years after Eric Garner chokehold death
Hey guys I'm Kimberly Brooks and you're watching ABC news live I'm breaking news out of New York a day of reckoning. You just saw their New York police commissioner James O'Neill. Has dismissed he's terminated. Officer Daniel can't taleo and the choke hold death of Eric garner is a take a lesson. For some time prior to July 17 2014. Neighborhood residents purposely. Avoided the area in and directly around. Hopkins hill park in Staten Island the conditions at that time arose Sherman array of criminal activity. Drug dealers worked at the edges of the park where did is that part. Across the street selling narcotics. Handful of men regularly sold loose cigarettes made cheaper by the fact that New York State taxes had not been paid on them. In this case the unintended consequence of mystic artist death. Must have a consequence of its own therefore. I agree with the deputy commissioner of trials legal findings and recommendations. This clear that Daniel Pennzoil can no longer effectively serve as a new York city police officer. And carrying out the courts partisan verdict in this case I take no pleasure. I don't know that many will disagree with is decision that is their right. They're absolutely no victors here today about the gonna fail me that the community at large. And certainly not the courageous men and women of the police department. Who put their own lives on the line every single Dane service and to the people of this great city. Today's a day of reckoning but can also be a day reconciliation. So reminder officer Daniel cancel Leo he was involved in the choke hold death. An air garner 43 years old. The death was caught on tape five years ago and it's been five years since the Stanley. Has been waiting to see what the fate of this officer would be so you just heard it New York police commissioner James O'Neill. Holding the press conference saying that officer panel Leo. Would be terminated I'm affected. Immediately saw want to bring in deer and torture. Who's a retired NYPD. Lieutenant and also criminal justice for press professor. Thank you for being with us today. You know. You know back when this hats and there were no charges that were brought in the trial. And the Justice Department refused to bring federal civil rights charges. And so today is this justice. I don't really know what are you taking this recent. History pieces or eighties rockers on simultaneously criminal being. With these issues sitting well based. It's a constant in the case this is the natural order things. And in my. BS news the should be good. News is nearly fifty cent and equities Eagles eight against. Julio and that's weasel it's yeah. Yeah I want to ask you out the conference because as we are listening to the commissioner speak. He said things lake. That air garner should have complied down that it was a bad area. That he was in in good health. Do those things matter wind and a man died. Let us count the police commissioner won't see just clearing beauty doesn't exit or route you all six case where there was resisting arrest where the rooms not resisting us whether. At the labels. Actions we're deemed appropriate or not or any as a result this each commissioner see these rules actually should be turning that decision now. With thin and sharp. He engaged the police commissioner and mayor chic East Asia nor are. Commissioner's statements to C ruling couple of first degree mission. And this. Today. Is commissioner. He back east final ruling and later should be turning and that initial results. Thinking he just tell us a little bit more about this disciplinary trial with the administrative judge who actually suggested. That an taleo be fired it seems like a lot of his decision was based on that. Any disciplinary problems is a person's new street extra special in at least. Taleo had to turn army soup London. So lonely. It is the defense's turn it just is it could surrender or. Still London was actually owns defense attorney and prosecutor was often salute for the army air. Keep in PD salute. BP. Early on with the decision best friend to a child she shall these chase recruited. As they way you know all league entry six. This case. As usual city police commissioner which is the natural order roughly to see Luis the ruling comes out. Mission pool ready to receive nor introduce he's belief well Clara. She but if we can bet if need be departmental trial in my PO. Of ninety plus percent it. The commissioner does we are eager to see in. He's commissioner gene O'Neill in this case does we beat which are Russians who choose. Yeah and I just ask you I mean what does this mean a for their community five. Years later since he died. And to now in between nineteen have something happened to this officer who was involved in this death what does it mean five years later. It is we're seeing as is her her. It was it was. He said it was this. Relationship and policing community and see me in any better Solis was this immediate basis Lewis between police community. Police union relationship. Is that rocks in La horse. Police Susan suburbs it's essential and it's necessary for the half. Intimations just six. What our community and niece police are you beat nationally. Success in connection where these yeah relationship so don't go to meeting the bases in this particular case I don't see. Didn't lead at no winners here before this is Sar. Because the public who see that certain Asian or suppress taleo s.'s success always or or the right thing to do. And I seems to write all been just regional communities sectional and this what they believe that he feels that this is shall we knew there connection media star. An error. Yes and now we have a state men from the patrolmen benevolent association of the city of New York. They responded after this decision and the president Patrick Jane Lynch he said. Police commissioner O'Neal has made his choice he is chosen politics. And his own self interest over the police officers he claims to lead he is chosen to cringe in fear of the anti police extremist rather than standing up. For New Yorkers who want to functioning police department. With cops who are empowered to protect them and their families so obviously. A controversial decision I want to bring an air into Turkey was right there when this decision was being made. I'm Aaron what was the energy like wind this decision came down. I was struck by how emotional police commissioner O'Neal was he invoked how he was cop street cop for 34 years. Of his police career he really wanted to identify. We've officer Daniel van taleo and he said even that if he were still a cop and had been in that same situation. That could easily have been him that he could've made the same mistake. As officer and taleo and it seemed like he was sending a signal. Two other officers that he's with them anticipating the statement you just read. From the deviated. Calling him water listen and political. Commissioner Neil though was very emotionally said if you feel safe next time you walking on the street. Go ahead you think a police officer he said police officers make split second decisions. In this case the decision went bad and it has to have a consequence and he decided to terminate officer van taleo. Yes and as I I mentioned before around the grand jury had declined to indict this officer in 2014. And then the Justice Department refused to bring federal civil charges. How does this just in disciplinary trial come about. Well this was just that the next process in line and you heard the commissioners say that the feds had asked the NYPD to hold off. The Staten Island district attorney had asked the NYPD to hold off. But he knows five years was far too long. For either the garner family or for officer Penn taleo he said there was no reason that this should have taken so long. For Daniel pent taleo though this does close the chapter on his police career. And the commissioners seemed to come from a place of empathy he said it's in his DNA. To be a street cop to understand the split second sometimes life and death decisions. An officer and taleo and other police officers make. But he also spoke about the impact on the garner family he called the death a tragedy and one that should have been avoided. Aaron I just leader remind everyone what the circumstances were win airing garter Eric garner did. Dye back in 2014. Eric garner has been. Arrested for selling loose cigarettes on the street. And commissioner Neil talked about the origins of the arrest he said Tompkins filled park in Staten Island. Had been overrun with crime there have been a lot of 911 calls a lot of complaints to the city. And finally officers were asked to go in. And take. Eric garner in to custody. He also said though that garner probably would have gotten off with a summons what he was not cooperative with the police and once you're not cooperative. That's when. Force was used the force was justifiable. To choke hold was not the commissioners said and that's what got officer Daniel Ben taleo into trouble. Yes thank you Aaron and I think what's most disturbing about. All of this is it was caught on tape it's a video. That whenever. This case comes up. It's played over and over again and no doubt traumatize zine that chokehold with air garner saying. I can't breathe eleven times umps are want to bring in cheese voice. But he's a former chief detective for the NYPD. On the phone with us chief voice you know these choke holds. They're illegal they were banned in the 1993. Correct. That's that's correct we changed up the season because there was a you have to remember like him more in 98 route they were toward the please them. So rigorous though the process there and these these things. Continue to evolve as we change our procedures each time Jim talked about today about what it did retrieve biscuit the other speculation. The city changed dramatically analysts by abuse we see in suppression policing and broke windows. What the city too low cormorant. Sumpter is unsustainable and today's city. This particular. It's and it changed us dramatically I was there for the entire thing I remember the the sum of 2014. I would involved. Later on whose three year. Two of all officers resuscitated. Well we Reynolds when general. And on the perpetrators all work to protest. Directly affected so this was a long horrible process. I felt horrible Borough micron Jermareo. I saw him up there aren't exactly correct whose emotional. On this is this is no easy decision by anybody from he'll be picked departed talk maybe even louder I don't know. But took time for often respond we need to get paid assistant utter corner I put this entire program arrow I should take when he's been Parker's. Yet one thing I want to ask you is in that disciplinary trial. The administrative judge suggested. She said he was that officer pan taleo was untruthful. About his use of the chokehold on. I think it's interesting though because this is a case that was on camera we saw it happening so what does it mean for an officer to. Say that he didn't do something when you can. Just see it right there in front of your face. Well I think through the process is how we describe deductions and I think that's what she found she got a problem with when you're down there. O'Neal on the floor with a very large man and you're fighting no really to get him under control. You're not he should be recklessly through it and he did itself what he purposeful was recklessly. What to choke cola. Again. Jim O'Neill also says that we could see most people who import consultant who grown produce so concluded. Saw themselves with an attitude because I've been there before two. I'm sure you know sometimes we hold please hoaxes two really high standard perhaps there was even even two. Those rebel I don't know quite what should an excellent. Attorney she made the judgment that he was being boosted untruthful. I don't know how other people see that but I know it is what sort it is very difficult. To to make it would make improper rescission. All right so if you're joining us right now breaking news out of New York on New York, New York police commissioner James O'Neal has terminated. Officer Daniel can't taleo in the death. Of air garner five years ago so want to bring in Mike muse from serious extend. My make this is banned traumatize seeing for everyone to watch this case play out and dramatizing. For the family. We mentioned this earlier today but you know his stepfather has passed away his his daughter Erica garner has passed away and became an. Activists for this cause on. What will this. How will this impact the community this decision. Yeah look at a couple of things that way here I think wind they'll start to bring closure for the family. They're Gartner I think five years to the very long time. I don't bring closure and terms of what type of justice will be done. Armed on the borrowed apartment gramley from that what have you heard very disappoint them by the judgment I came out not to indict and move further along with. And then just put twirl about art your decision on whether or not this officer. Would be disciplined and will be terminated which we sharp save from mr. O'Neill by the believe that this really bring closure should do that standard bearer Kirk. When it comes to a larger perspective. Of community and our community as a that he urged city but community at large U to be able to treat. Loved ones being law at the hands of law enforcement officer. Part two walked and we illegals treating members GOP Jack conservative when it back as incurred we never see an indictment. Move forward and whether or not these officers could ever be try a day in the court of law. I think you believe that in the frustration that connect community. Larry is that you trial is never export. It never is the chance this year both sides acorda law and then here are just about the jewelry board in the stable war. Or not paper the prosecution or the defendant having bats in the frustration those seeing commission earlier come out today. And I argued or did a great job of laying out both sides of the cool right laying out. Both individuals respective both sides of the community and mark force meant and what made the physical difficult. But surely aren't electable because they act out commercial and you believe doomed and on the fact that that the choke hold it illegal. And the fact that your police department in a training and it orientation and it struck did. Got which locals were legal or any mr. O'Neill any pressure applied to that matched. Is illegal option nothing absolutely need to focus on indoor have come restored you'll be concluded his remarks he says that you know my job which Rick. Protect this city and to make sure are a lot to all of you are compliant a major street are shaped. Berger being provided. Hope now going for that in my could eat lobsters and all across the country would give a second thought before they had to make the decision what to do with school quarterback right. To apply I oppression in Mexico caused. Harm and in that case. And I believe that now it all began to be turning it or if found guilty they would think differently about the approach and after that they take. So therefore they keep their jobs more importantly jubilee QB keep the community safe and a lie. Yes for sure I think. I think the question that comes up a lot though is. You know as chief voice was mentioning that. You know it's one thing to say don't use a choke hold but. How they'd air garner. Get on the ground in the first place was that necessary would he still be alive today if that wasn't the case that they just took a moment. Exactly and you're right completely Internet access to or walk with truth be a mild electrical officer Deborah they are. I think they can leverage this country from men all the loose cigarettes deeply shaken for a minute a man died although. Cigarette greatly Mathieu that he should complied or not but are that you have altered had to be accountable to a blog and the harder they. Escalate a situation. Over one officers to chew bubble offices there on the scene also a loose cigarettes. We'll go to go notion look. People are black community have died for such trivial. Things that could have been avoided it the proper training would it then there. So that it did this situation get a big. Ask elated and that moment it and that more. How you ought to negate reflection achieve right. People about Puget often stretch it did a year. Black resident if you remember it could that be and they have put all that perked situation and was told by its lack. Riot therefore grave situation and to what would did need to be. Absolutely so five years a day of reckoning today. Officer pan taleo. Involved in a choke hold death of Eric garner terminated from his job. I'm so I want to bring in air and deter ski again just a walk us through the legal proceedings and remind us of what led to this point today. Coming. The legal proceedings has gone on for the better part of five years can really at first the case went before a grand jury on Staten Island where the arrest happened. The district attorney at the time Dan Donovan who went on to become a congressman and an. Lose his seat in congress declined to file any criminal charges that it was a decision that he felt perhaps he could not win a conviction. There's the federal government took a look at the case for years including the Obama Justice Department and then. The trump Justice Department before our very recently the attorney general William Barr concluded that no federal civil rights charges were warranted. And that was a decision at that commissioner O'Neill said was probably correct you heard the commissioners say that it is unlikely Daniel and taleo world golf. Thinking he was going to make. It's such a consequential decision. That would end Eric coroner's life and the commissioners said it was unlikely garner walk up that day thinking he was going to resist arrest and and be in the position that he was seeing. Or that I and encounter with the cops even in his poor health would lead. To his untimely death. But this legal proceeding has gone on the commissioner said far too long for either the department's liking. Officer Kent the whales liking or certainly to garner families like. And I want to I want to bring back in chief voice. Former chief detective for. The NYPD. The wind and the commissioner was speaking today he said that it was a very difficult decision a big day and the police department. And chief boys can you just walk us through why this was such an emotional decision for him to make. Sure so he's been dark questions about for years now and we're in that time the city is stranger happily. Into more. Let's should feel less invasive type style policing we want to appoint him to precision policing where we would not go out and do this kind of enforcement that had been in so effective is the pair so we changed a lot. This particular thing it's the I can't stress this enough. The morale of the club Americans filed in white Petri. It is important when we ask young men women each day. To go addition cities sometimes hourly. Who are at risk your life. For the city of New York so that morale has been kept receive happened on the city with a group compared. To that is so it's always makes it even more dramatic. From this when you have police unions. Making statements strong sentence against which collection. So that's what the backdrop he wants is clearly the most. Difficult decision he would make and probably the most difficult decision I've seen in many many years for any police commission make. It's the protester entirely. On him where the fire or or wrong. Discipline and officer without harm to go forward so that's what humorous but he's strongman. I think you'll go forward and and understand who reach out to crucial to surround the city to know that he does care about them. And he will go forward with them. He's not resigning Huckabee fired but not enough about my magnitude but this like I said he wants distant he wants this gorgeous people went by and we have to as the city. Put this behind this and move forward. How do you play the case behind how does the family put the case behind them. When they've lost a loved one. Well I dictate what they call or is his dismissal they have that. This this is typical times affiliates puppet of the treasuries as well. But you know we've factored missed the commission laid out. Quite heart dramatically reduce whose parents that are gonna could've just whose employment beckons with this would have through slumps. So there's a lot of issues here are complex and understand what wouldn't did to the city as well when people have a lot of strong opinions about sketched in and out of law enforcement. So it's unfortunate that they're going what would be they're going apparently but they have to understand in the city Boston move forward. Irate that was cheap voice former chief detective for the NYPD now and again on some final thoughts from Darren porch or retired NYPD. Lieutenant dairy there asks. Yes tell me what you think about this as we move forward. Where the police aren't seen it where you are gonna have from cool song legal. Do you a year ago we have a lot of our outreach secret I've progressed we maintain the expenses and community relationship is to prevail there's just now Harris the narrator. Apparently it's neck and used to keep. Eric RC insistence that public and you can understand that a low center but the second lien which is the NY. I. It may well it's they would speeders to move forward Darius Williams. Agency presses news. Fortunate. To have additional trashy city brought in connection with the police are ED Syria will be Iraq. ECU is a teacher who only movement for I sit out if it really geeky she's situations in the future because is not yet. I teach. All right that was dear to support your. Former. Retired NYPD lieutenant in criminal justice professor and I want to go back to air deter ski. Who was on the ground when this decision came down but what happens next Daryn. Well from here visited decision is immediate so Kimberly an officer and taleo is no longer a police officer his law enforcement career. Is over don't get to keep whatever vested part of his pension. He he can but otherwise he does not collect any benefits from the department because this is an outright termination there is an appeals process if he wants to go through what it. We're gonna hear soon from them the officers' union the PBA they've already put out a statement. Calling O'Neill rudderless saying he's leaving the decisions. Two political characters. Remember commissioner O'Neal probably the least political commissioner this department has had a long time. Was serving at the pleasure of a mayor that's running for president who had promised the garner Stanley justice during a national democratic debate. It put him minute in a tough spot and we're told that the commissioner was keenly aware. Of the pressure on him and of the national significance of the decision that he just. And it. Right that was airing pictures key right there on the ground when the decision came down and again if you're joining us right now. The decision made by police commissioner James O'Neal is that officer can't taleo. What will be terminated from his job. Because he was involved in the choke hold death of air garner five years ago.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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