Bad policing costs lives. So why are fired officers allowed to join other departments?
Written by Solomon Jones on August 21, 2019
I remember the scene vividly. Eric Garner, surrounded by police officers on a Staten Island street corner, with then-Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s arms locked firmly around Garner’s neck.
“I can’t breathe,” Garner said 11 times in a videotaped tragedy viewed by millions. At the end of it, Garner lay motionless on the ground, and the breath that he’d longed for — begged for, really — was gone from his lifeless body.
That was five years ago, and after that violent incident, spurred by Garner’s being stopped for selling loose cigarettes, Pantaleo was relegated to desk duty. Garner became an icon of a movement. And though Pantaleo was never criminally charged for his actions, he was fired this week by the New York Police Department after a judge recommended that he be removed from his job. Absent the criminal charges that I believe Pantaleo should face for killing Garner, there is one thing that should happen now.
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