Pantaleo’s union has already told the Washington Post it would try to overturn the termination decision New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Monday.
Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, told reporters during a press conference that same day that Pantaleo’s team can appeal all it wants, “but I’m out here for the long run.”
“And you cannot scare me away,” she said. “Yeah, Pantaleo, you may have lost your job. But I lost a son.”
Garner, an unarmed Black man, was accused of selling single cigarettes outside a store on Staten Island when Pantaleo placed him in a deadly chokehold while trying to arrest him on July 17, 2014.
Eric Garner’s daughter, Emerald Garner, said during a press conference Monday that she appreciates the decision to fire the officer but she will continue to fight for a law to make police chokeholds illegal.
“I should not be here standing with my brother, fatherless,” she said. “I should be here with my father, but Pantaleo took that away from me on 7/17.”
O’Neill called the death a tragedy but also called Pantaleo’s firing “a different kind of tragedy.”
“I’ve been a cop a long time, and if I was still a cop, I’d probably be mad at me,” O’Neill said.
Some officers are.
Patrick Lynch, president of the New York City police union, condemned O’Neill’s decision and urged New York City cops to proceed with “the utmost caution” in a statement on behalf of the union.
“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,” Lynch said in the statement. “He has chosen to cringe in fear of the anti-police extremists, rather than standing up for New Yorkers who want a functioning police department, with cops who are empowered to protect them and their families.
“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 rights.”