Daniel Pantaleo, NYPD officer in Eric Garner case, sues to get job back

David Caplan
October 23, 2019 - 7:37 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Former NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was fired in August over the 2014 death of Eric Garner, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to get his job back, according to The New York Post.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan civil court, argues that Pantaleo's dismissal was "arbitrary and capricious," his lawyer, Stuart London, told the Post. 

The lawsuit names NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, the City of New York and the NYPD.

1010 WINS has reached out to London for comment.

Immediately following O'Neill's announcement in August that Pantaleo had been fired -- O'Neill said "it is clear he can no longer serve in the NYPD" -- London said his client planned to sue to get his job back. 

At the time, London said that Pantaleo would file an Article 78 in court to appeal the decision.

"Obviously he is disappointed, upset, but has a lot of strength and wants to go forward as strenuously as we can," London told reporters at a press conference following the decision. "We're looking for him to get his job back."

Because of his firing, Pantaleo will not collect a pension, although he will receive the money he paid while he was employed by the NYPD. 

The move to fire Pantaleo was not well-received by the The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York. The group's president, Pat Lynch, said in a statement at the time, "Police Commissioner O'Neill has made his choice: he has chosen politics and his own self-interest over the police officers he claims to lead.  .... With this decision, Commissioner O'Neill has opened the door for politicians to dictate the outcome of every single NYPD disciplinary proceeding, without any regard for the facts of the case or police officers' due process right."

Pantaleo was terminated after it was determined that he violated department police by restraining Garner with a prohibited chokehold in 2014.

O'Neill had been deliberating on whether to accept a disciplinary judge's recommendation to fire Pantaleo for using a banned chokehold on Garner.

Garner's dying words of "I can't breathe" were recorded on video and became a flash point in a national debate over race and police use of force.