Eric Garner: NY officer in 'I can't breathe' death fired

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NY police commissioner has announced the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo who used a deadly chokehold while arresting Eric Garner in 2014, a case that fueled the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

But it was clear Mr Pantaleo had broken department rules and "can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer".

Cellphone video captured Pantaleo using a banned chokehold on Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk during an attempted arrest for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. "In carrying out the court's verdict in this case I take no pleasure", O'Neill said.

"Officer Pantaleo, well, now I can say Daniel Pantaleo, is a murderer and that's just how I feel", Emerald Garner said. The status of Pantaleo's NYPD pension was unclear after O'Neill's announcement.

"This was not an easy decision", the commissioner told reporters.

The footage showed Garner, who was 43 at the time, crying out, "I can't breathe", at least 11 times before he fell unconscious.

Police had responded to Bay Street the day Garner died as part of an ongoing effort to address quality of life issues brought to the NYPD's attention by local residents.

Garner's death came at a time when police around the country were accused of using excessive force against unarmed African-Americans. "That could possibly be me", he said. "There are absolutely no victors here today. The damage is already done".

He also said he understood some police officers would be angry with him for not supporting one of their own.

But others said Pantaleo's firing was a long time coming.

Weeks later, protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, over the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, and later in 2014, a man angry about the Garner and Brown cases shot two New York City police officers dead in their patrol vehicle in retribution.

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"We might not never know justice in the DOJ, but I think there will be justice and we're going to keep fighting", she said.

When asked if he thought justice was delivered, O'Neill said the process was "fair and impartial" while describing it as a "tragedy for the Garner family".

"We are relieved but we are not celebratory".

"Pantaleo will go home a terminated man, but this family had to go to a funeral", Sharpton said at a news conference.

"The world has seen that this officer is unfit", said Davie.

The departmental disciplinary trial focused on whether Pantaleo used a department-banned chokehold in the arrest.

The decision backs the recommendation of an NYPD administrative judge earlier this month that Pantaleo should be fired for his role in Garner's death. "Moreover, (Pantaleo's) glaring dereliction of responsibility precipitated a tragic outcome".

The report concluded with a recommendation of termination.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill announced Pantaleo's fate at a press conference.

Despite the disciplinary trial, Pantaleo has avoided criminal charges in the death.

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