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.
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.