A full FIVE YEARS after the tragic and avoidable death of Eric Garner by illegal chokehold, the NYPD and Mayor's office sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) alerting them that, while the DOJ's investigation was continuing, the City would begin internal disciplinary investigations this fall.
This letter proves that the Mayor's office has been obfuscating - and lying to us and our community - by insisting they could not act until the DOJ completed their investigation. And so while we appreciate the Mayor FINALLY moving towards justice - why wait?? The video of Mr. Garner being assaulted with excessive force, begging for his life, crying out that he couldn't breathe, while NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo choked him to death has been seen across the globe. It defies logic that there is anything left to investigate.
Four years is enough. Justice delayed is Justice denied.
MAYOR DE BLASIO MUST FIRE DANIEL PANTALEO AND ALL NYPD OFFICERS INVOLVED IN THE DEATH OF ERIC GARNER AND THE ENSUING COVER UP.
December 3, 2015
STATEMENT FROM JUSTICE LEAGUE NYC ON THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION INTO THE KILLING OF ERIC GARNER
December 3, 2015 (New York, NY)--"We acknowledge those who express hesitancy toward our decision to escalate pressure on Mayor de Blasio today asking us to trust the process of the DOJ investigation. Movements toward justice require many strategies, players and tactics.
But let us be clear, just because we are young, does not mean we are naïve. The city of New York has stated publicly that it has the power to fire Officer Pantaleo, however, it chooses not to in light of the investigation.
It is completely rational for New Yorkers to have authentic concern and urgency around the lack of accountability this City has when police kill other people on our streets in broad daylight.
This is not new to us. All we have to do is look at what DOJ has not accomplished for Ramarley Graham and his dear mother Constance, who we love. It has been years and DOJ has delivered nothing.
Are we supposed to wait years for Eric Garner as well? Pantaleo’s own lawyer stated the investigation could last five years. Is that the type of accountability we’re supposed to just sit back wait and let crumbs of change trickle down over time?
Simply—It does not take a year to investigate something the entire world watched.
Over the last year, it’s made clear that “investigation” is just a word used for law enforcement and elected officials to hide behind slug-paced complacency. The speed of investigations indicate the sincerity of law enforcement and elected officials to achieve justice.
Daniel Pantaleo doesn’t need to be paid by New York taxpayers for years while Mayor de Blasio opts to sit back and dismissively wait for DOJ’s investigation to unfold. Firing Daniel Pantaleo doesn’t impede the ability to investigate. Firing him is just a tiny gesture that the Mayor can do to demonstrate he is accountable to the people of our City, yet Mayor de Blasio made the deliberate choice not to. For us, this is neither the moral leadership nor the sound economic management that we demand of our Mayor. And that is why you’ll see us at Gracie tonight."
Justice League NYC
Reverend Adolphus Lacey, Bethany Baptist Church
Carmen Perez, Executive Director, The Gathering for Justice
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York
Tamika Mallory, Board Member of The Gathering for Justice
Members of the clergy
Justice League NYC, an initiative of The Gathering For Justice, presented a list of DEMANDS to the City of New York. #1 is the immediate firing of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo and all officers involved in the killing of Eric Garner. The NYPD's Patrol Guide clearly states that officers are not to use chokeholds.
In our meeting with Mayor de Blasio on December 19, we expressed our unwavering demand that Daniel Pantaleo be immediately removed from the NYPD payroll. In response, the Mayor stated that there is an ongoing investigation and Commissioner Bratton will make a decision based on the results of said investigation. We respect due process, however, as we've seen in New York and across the country, due process within a historically racist system frequently results in injustice. We the taxpayers, should not have to pay the salaries of police officers who kill unarmed members of our communities.
Justice League NYC is absolutely clear that the firing of one officer will not solve the problems of systemic racism that plagues the NYPD, but the officers involved in Eric Garner's death must pay the consequences for their actions. We need accountability and we will not stop until we get it. The Garner family deserves it. New Yorkers deserve it.
We won't just sit back and wait. We will track the days, hours and minutes until the investigation of the officers involved in killing Eric Garner is complete and to see whether Commissioner Bratton will do what is right. Nothing less than #FIREPANTALEO!