Police union: Firing officer will paralyze force

National

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on an administrative judge’s recommendation in the Eric Garner case (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

The head of New York City’s largest police union says an administrative judge’s recommendation to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo over the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner is “pure political insanity.”

The judge’s findings were provided Friday to his lawyer and the city agency that acted as a prosecutor at his department trial. The police department says Commissioner James O’Neill will make a final decision on punishment this month.

Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in a statement Friday that if O’Neill goes along with the recommendation, “it will paralyze the NYPD for years to come.”

Lynch said O’Neill knows that if he affirms “this horrendous decision, he will lose his police department.”

Lynch accused the judge of ignoring the evidence and trampling Pantaleo’s due process rights. He said the decision tells officers that they’re expendable.

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12:25 p.m.

The New York Police Department has suspended Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was accused of using a chokehold in the 2014 death of Eric Garner.

An administrative judge recommended that he be fired on Friday.

Deputy Commissioner Phil Walzak says that it is longstanding department practice to suspend an officer when there’s been a recommendation that he be fired.

The judge’s findings were provided to his lawyer and the city agency that acted as a prosecutor at his department trial.

Pantaleo’s lawyer will have about two weeks to submit responses before Police Commissioner James O’Neill makes a final decision on punishment.

Walzak said O’Neill was aware of media reports regarding the findings but hasn’t been provided a copy, in keeping with the department’s disciplinary process.

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12:05 p.m.

Rev. Al Sharpton is calling on the police commissioner to “immediately and unequivocally” accept the recommendation of an administrative judge that the officer accused of using a chokehold in the 2014 death of Eric Garner be fired.

The civil rights leader spoke Friday after the judge gave his recommendation that Officer Daniel Pantaleo be fired.

He said the city should not employ an officer who “heard someone say 11 times, ‘I can’t breathe.’” Garner’s words have become a rallying cry against police brutality.

Sharpton said the decision was not justice for Garner’s family. He said justice would have been served by federal or criminal proceedings.

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11:45 a.m.

An administrative judge has recommended firing the New York City police officer accused of using a chokehold in the 2014 death of Eric Garner.

The judge’s findings in the disciplinary case of Officer Daniel Pantaleo were provided Friday to his lawyer and the city agency that acted as a prosecutor at his department trial.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board chairman said the judge had recommended that Pantaleo be dismissed.

Pantaleo’s lawyer will have about two weeks to submit a response before Police Commissioner James O’Neill makes a final decision on punishment.

Garner’s dying pleas of “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry against police brutality.

Pantaleo denies using excessive force in arresting Garner.

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