The NYPD officer involved in the arrest of Eric Garner, the asthmatic 43-year-old father of six who died after being placed in a chokehold, has been stripped of his gun and badge.
The Associated Press reports that Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an eight-year NYPD officer, has been placed on desk duty after being stripped of his gun and badge.
Another officer named Justin Damico, reports the Daily News, was also taken off the street and placed on desk duty, but will retain his gun and badge. He has been with the NYPD for four years.
Federal court records show that in the last two years, three Staten Island men have sued Pantaleo over what they argued were racially motivated arrests. From the AP:
In the first lawsuit, settled by the city in January, two black men in their 40s accused Pantaleo and other officers of arresting them without cause and subjecting them to a "humiliating and unlawful strip search" on a Staten Island street that involved ordering them to "pull their pants and underwear down, squat and cough."
The men were held overnight on charges that were ultimately dismissed.
In the second lawsuit, Pantaleo was accused of attempting to substantiate charges—that were, again, ultimately dismissed—by misrepresenting facts in a police report and other documents.
According to the AP, placing someone in a chokehold is prohibited by departmental policy. NYC's Civilian Complaint Review Board said on Saturday that it would review over 1,000 chokehold complaints it has received against officers over the last five years and attempt to "discern why officers continue to use this forbidden practice."
[image via AP]