Former officer fired in death of Eric Garner sues NYPD to be reinstated
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A former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer who was fired in connection to the 2014 death of Eric Garner is suing the department and the police commissioner to get his old job back.

Daniel Pantaleo's lawsuit, filed Wednesday, argues his ouster was "arbitrary and capricious,” USA Today reports.

His attorney, Stuart London, told the outlet the former officer used a reasonable amount of force in the incident and did not mean to hurt Garner.


Pantaleo, who is white, was fired in August for putting Garner, an unarmed black man, in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him on charges of selling untaxed cigarettes on the street.

Footage of the arrests shows Garner saying, “I can’t breathe” as he died, and the phrase became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. A medical examiner testified Garner's autopsy showed the officer’s chokehold led to a “lethal cascade” that spurred Garner’s death.

"It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as an NYPD police officer," police chief James O'Neill told reporters.

Garner’s death helped galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement and prompted calls for charges against Pantaleo. His firing followed a police administrative judge recommending the NYPD let him go. Federal prosecutors declined to file any criminal or civil charges.