The NYPD officer caught on video restraining 43-year-old Eric Garner in a choke hold — which ultimately led to Garner’s death — received a sharp increase in pay after being placed on modified duty two years ago, payroll records show.
According to Politico, Officer Daniel Pantaleo earned $119,996 between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. That included his base pay of $78,026, $23,220 in overtime pay, and an additional $12,853 in unspecified pay.
The officer’s overtime earnings jumped 33 percent this year, with an overall pay increase of 14 percent from the previous fiscal year, Politico reports.
Pantaleo also raked in roughly $177,000 ($99,915 in base pay and $17,189 in overtime) in the 2014 fiscal year before Garner’s death and his subsequent duty reassignment.
On July 17, 2014, a bystander captured the NYPD officer wrestling Garner, a father of five, to the ground and placing him in an illegal choke hold. The New York man was reportedly selling loose cigarettes outside a convenience store in Staten Island. Pantaleo continued to restrain him, during which Garner can be heard struggling to say, “I can’t breathe.”
The officer was stripped of his gun and badge pending an investigation by the NYPD, but later cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury in December 2014. Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Garner’s tragic encounter with police, was punished, however, and sentenced to four years in prison on unrelated charges.
“I should’ve done it smarter, and not put my name out there,” Orta told The New York Daily News. “I don’t regret taking the video. It shined some light on stuff that was happening. It was a good thing. Now people are opening their eyes to what’s going on with some officers.”
According to Politico, payroll records also revealed that Pantaleo never received any disciplinary action from the department that would have affected his earnings.
The political news site’s review of NYPD payroll documents comes amid outcry from local activists and Garner’s family over Mayor Bill De Blasio’s refusal to release Pantaleo’s disciplinary records. De Blasio said he wanted to release the records, but couldn’t due to an archaic New York law.
Garner’s eldest daughter, Erica Garner, blasted the mayor last week for his unwillingness to bring her and her family justice.
“Just cause you love Black p—ssy don’t mean you love Black lives,” Garner said in a tweet.
“God has a way of exposing fraud,” she continued. “Bill De Blasio can say whatever he wants. Black people here get no justice in his administration in NYC.”