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'I can't breathe': New York police officer faces disciplinary trial in Garner death


Added 05-13-19 12:10:03pm EST - “The disciplinary trial of the New York City police officer who put Eric Garner, ...” - Reuters.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reuters.com: “'I can't breathe': New York police officer faces disciplinary trial...”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The disciplinary trial of the New York City police officer who put Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in a fatal chokehold began on Monday, nearly five years after widely seen video of the death sparked a national outcry about policing tactics.

Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, could be fired after the conclusion of what is expected to be a 10-day trial at the New York Police Department’s headquarters in Manhattan. The ultimate decision will rest with New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

Videos recorded on bystanders’ cellphones showed Garner, who was 43, saying “I can’t breathe” 11 times before he died. The phrase became a rallying cry in the early days of the Black Lives Matter movement, which seeks to end the disproportionate use of deadly force against nonwhite people by U.S. police departments.

“His last words ‘I can’t breathe’ tell you who caused his death,” Jonathan Fogel, a lawyer for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, said during opening statements. “He gave his victim a death sentence over loose cigarettes because he disregarded his training.”

The trial will be closely watched by civil rights activists who say too few police officers face consequences for using deadly force and those, including New York City’s powerful police officers’ union, who defend officers for doing a dangerous job.

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