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August 14, 2019, 7:41 PM

NYPD one step closer to deciding fate of Eric Garner cop, Daniel Pantaleo


NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo is one step closer to learning his fate.

The cop’s lawyer and the Civilian Complaint Review Board have submitted their responses to a department judge’s recommendation that Pantaleo be fired for his role Eric Garner’s chokehold death.

The responses from both sides will be read by trial judge Rosemary Maldonado and then sent to First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker.

From there, the case goes to Police Commissioner James O’Neill, who said he would make a decision by the end of the month. Observers believe the top cop’s ruling could come as soon as next week.

Pantaleo has remained on the payroll since Garner’s death on Bay St. on July 17, 2014. He was suspended after Maldonado made her recommendation on Aug. 2.

Maldonado found Pantaleo guilty of one of the two charges against him — recklessly using a chokehold banned by the NYPD. She cleared him of the second charge, intentionally restricting Garner’s breathing.

Police said Garner, 43, was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk and when he refused to surrender, cops tried to take the 6-foot, 2-inch, 395-pound Garner into custody, with Pantaleo grabbing him from behind.

Garner yelled “I can’t breathe” 11 times while he was on the ground — all of it captured on a cell phone video obtained by the Daily News.

Pantaleo was cleared in a Staten Island grand jury and federal prosecutors close not to file civil rights charges against the cop.

Chair of the CCRB, Frederick Davie said O’Neill owes it to the Garner family and all New Yorkers to follow Maldonado’s recommendation.

“The city’s ability to restore confidence and transparency and accountability in police community relations is contingent on the commissioner honoring that move,” Davie said.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Davie is entitled to his opinion, “regardless of how wrongheaded it might be.”

"The officer was not indicted by the grand jury and the federal government declined to prosecute simply because the evidence does not support the commission of a crime,” Lynch said.