Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer involved in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, is suing the New York Police Department and the police commissioner to get his job back.
The New York City Police Department announced in August that it was firing Pantaleo, the officer who put a chokehold on Garner, an unarmed African-American man killed by police on Staten Island in 2014. Pantaleo’s lawyer filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the department, according to the New York Post, alleging that the decision to terminate him was “arbitrary and capricious.”
New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill chose to fire Pantaleo for using a banned chokehold at the recommendation of the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Trials.
“None of us can take back our decisions, most especially when they lead to the death of another human being,” O’Neill said at the time.
Garner’s death came at a time of a growing national outcry over police killings of unarmed black men that would spark the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network was critical of the decision to file the lawsuit.
“Pantaleo’s decision to seek his reinstatement is not only disrespectful to the Police Commissioner and NYPD, but also the Garner family,” Sharpton said in a statement. “He has shown no contrition or acknowledgment of his violent actions that ultimately killed Eric Garner.”