Castro, Gillibrand criticize de Blasio over Eric Garner case

Castro, Gillibrand criticize de Blasio over Eric Garner case
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Democratic presidential rivals went after New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York City bans cashless businesses How far will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio go to protect undocumented aliens? The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment trial a week away; debate night MORE (D) on Wednesday night for not firing Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.

“He knew what he was doing. He was killing Eric Garner and he has not been brought to justice,” Julián Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary during the Obama administration, said during Wednesday's debate in Detroit. “That police officer should be off the streets.” 

De Blasio responded by placing blame on the Justice Department, suggesting he was told to hold off on penalizing Pantaleo while federal authorities were pursuing their case.

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The Justice Department ultimately decided against bringing federal civil rights charges against Pantaleo, who was seen on video wrapping his arms around Garner’s neck and holding him down in 2014. Garner's last words, "I can't breath," became a rallying cry for those protesting use of force policies by police departments across the country.

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“I know the Garner family, they’ve gone through extraordinary pain,” de Blasio said. “They are waiting for justice and they’re going to get justice. They're going to finally get justice.”

De Blasio indicated there would be some kind of action in "30 days." He also said the New York City Police Department is “changing how we police.”

“There will never be another tragedy, there will never be another Eric Garner,” de Blasio said.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (D-N.Y.), who said she met with Garner's mother, launched into criticism of de Blasio minutes later at the debate, echoing Castro by calling for the officer’s firing.

“He should be fired now,” Gillibrand said. “If I were the mayor, I would fire him.”