Daniel Pantaleo, the New York police officer who was fired on Monday for using a prohibited chokehold during Eric Garner’s fatal 2014 arrest, is reportedly suing the police commissioner for his job back.
Lawyer Stuart London told the New York Post that the ex-officer will file a lawsuit under Article 78 of the state Civil Practice Law and Rules. Under the provision, Pantaleo, 33, can claim that NYPD Commissioner James O’Neil’s firing of him was “arbitrary and capricious.”
O’Neil fired Pantaleo nearly two weeks after Deputy Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado found him guilty of using an illegal chokehold on Garner, 43. Evidence presented during the administrative trial charged that the officer’s chokehold triggered the asthma attack that killed Garner following his arrest for selling loose cigarettes.
Attorneys for Pantaleo denied he used the banned chokehold—arguing he had positioned his elbow to protect Garner’s windpipe while taking him down, according to Gothamist.
“Trials Commissioner Maldonado ruled that officer Pantaleo’s use of a prohibited chokehold was reckless and constituted a gross deviation from the standard of conduct established for a New York City police officer,” O’Neill said Monday, according to The New York Times. “I agree with the deputy commissioner of trial’s legal findings and recommendations and it is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer serve as a New York City police officer.”
Authorities posthumously charged Garner with selling untaxed cigarettes and resisting arrest. A year after his death, New York City settled with his family for $5.9 million.
Pantaleo’s firing also comes a month after the Justice Department declined to file criminal civil rights charges against him in Garner’s death. Prior to federal authorities’ decision not to prosecute, a Staten Island grand jury also refused to bring forth criminal charges.
Pantaleo, who had been on desk duty since Garner’s death, was placed on unpaid leave after being found guilty in administrative court on August 2. The Post reported that he will rejoin the force and be entitled to lost wages if his appeal is successful.
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[Featured image: Eric Garner/Twitter]