Police judge recommends firing of officer accused of killing Eric Garner: NYT
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A police administrative judge has recommended the firing of New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo, the man blamed for the death of Eric Garner, The New York Times reports.

According to the paper, Deputy Police Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado made the recommendation on Friday, leaving the final decision up to New York Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill as to whether the officer should be terminated.

Shortly after Maldonado's recommendation, the New York Police Department announced later on Friday that Pantaleo has been suspended in what it called a “longstanding practice in these matters when the recommendation is termination,” according to NBC News.

“All of New York City understandably seeks closure to this difficult chapter in our City’s history," the department also said in the statement, adding that it could not make “premature statements or judgments before the process is complete.”


The recommendation comes weeks after federal prosecutors announced they would not be charging the officer for the 2014 death of Garner.

In footage from the arrest that sparked widespread protest against police brutality, Pantaleo could be seen placing Garner, an unarmed black man, in a headlock. He was being arrested on allegations of selling untaxed cigarettes.

Garner could be heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” in his final moments. 

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Garner testified earlier this year that the officer’s chokehold led to a “lethal cascade” of events that resulted in his death.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other local officials have faced mounting pressure in recent weeks over the cop's current employment.

Earlier this week, protesters at the Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday night erupted with calls for Pantaleo's firing as de Blasio took the stage.