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January 31, 2019, 2:10 PM

Officer Accused In Death Of Eric Garner Appears At Hearing

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A hearing was held Thursday morning regarding the upcoming trial of the NYPD officer accused of using a chokehold on Eric Garner. 

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports, there could be more than 50 witnesses in the trial of Daniel Pantaleo, including his instructor at the police academy.

Defense attorney Stuart London notes that the first witness will be the man who videotaped Garner's death, Ramsey Orda.

Although Orda is currently serving time in an upstate prison for drug dealing and the defense has questioned his credibility, Garner's mother Gwen Carr says the man is her hero.

“Without him we would not have been here today, we would not have known about what actually happened to Eric, so why would they procrastinate,” Carr said at One Police Plaza on Thursday.

Carr also called for the firing of all the officers who used force against Garner during the arrest, lied in official reports and engaged in other misconduct.

Though, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch maintains Pantaleo’s innocence.

“Mr. Garner was taken to the ground using the minimum amount of force by employing a maneuver taught in the police academy that has been used countless times with no negative physical impact on the arrestees,” Lynch said in a statement.

He adds that the maneuver used to subdue Garner was misidentified as a chokehold “by the uninformed and by activists.”

Lynch adds, “Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo did nothing wrong and should not be on trial for doing his job the way he was trained to do it.”

Garner died on July 17, 2014, after suffering a heart attack as he was being arrested for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island street.