From Eric Garner’s death to firing of NYPD officer: A timeline of key events

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Associated Press


Published 10:32 a.m. ET Aug. 20, 2019 | Updated 10:49 a.m. ET Aug. 20, 2019



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Eric Garner’s cry of “I can’t breathe” became a battle cry for the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.
USA TODAY

NEW YORK – NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill on Monday announced the firing of the officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold moments before his 2014 death.

The announcement of Daniel Pantaleo’s firing came just weeks after the five-year anniversary of Garner’s death.

A timeline of key events:

July 17, 2014: Eric Garner dies in a confrontation with Pantaleo after the officer placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold. Police had suspected Garner of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on the street on New York City’s Staten Island. The confrontation is caught on amateur video, including Garner’s words “I can’t breathe,” which become a rallying cry among protesters.

Aug. 1, 2014: The city medical examiner’s office rules Garner’s death a homicide caused by neck compressions from a chokehold.

Aug. 23, 2014: Over 2,500 people march on Staten Island in protest of Garner’s death.

Sept. 19, 2014: Dr. Michael Baden, a forensic pathologist hired by Garner’s family, agrees with findings that a chokehold caused Garner’s death. Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, says that Pantaleo used a “seatbelt” maneuver and that the neck compressions were likely caused by lifesaving medical procedures.

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Dec. 3, 2014: A grand jury weighing whether to indict him finds “no reasonable cause” to bring charges against Pantaleo, triggering protests. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says federal authorities will conduct a civil rights investigation.

Dec. 20, 2014: A gunman ambushes two New York City Police officers in a patrol car and shoots them to death before killing himself. Authorities say Ismaaiyl Brinsley announced online he was planning to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for Garner’s death.

July 13, 2015: Garner’s family settles a lawsuit against the city for $5.9 million.

July 11, 2016: Garner’s siblings lend their voices to a song titled “I Can’t Breathe” that was released for the second anniversary of his death.

June 21, 2017: Garner’s family, along with Al Sharpton, meet privately with Justice Department officials. They are told the investigation is still active.

April 19, 2018: Federal civil rights prosecutors recommend charging Pantaleo.

July 16, 2018: The New York Police Department says it will allow disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo, saying it’s run out of patience with federal authorities’ indecision.

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July 21, 2018: Disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo begin.

May 13, 2019: After many delays, the NYPD disciplinary trial begins for Pantaleo.

May 14, 2019: The NYPD official in charge of training recruits says the restraint technique Pantaleo used on Garner “meets the definition” of a chokehold. The practice was banned in the 1990s.

June 6, 2019: The disciplinary hearing for Pantaleo ends. It can take up to three months before an administrative judge recommends a punishment to the police commissioner.

July 16, 2019: Federal prosecutors say they will not bring charges against Pantaleo, a decision made one day before the five-year anniversary of Garner’s death.

August 19, 2019: NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill announced the department’s decision to fire Pantaleo, more than five years after Garner’s death. Pantaleo will not receive pension. Later in the

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