Upd. March 21, 2017 | 12:15pm    


Cop who fatally choked Eric Garner had long list of complaints

By Danika Fears

Daniel Pantaleo and Eric Garner

The NYPD officer who used a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner had seven disciplinary complaints and 14 individual allegations lodged against him during his time on the force, a new report claims.

Four of the allegations against cop Daniel Pantaleo were ultimately substantiated by the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, which recommended that he be disciplined, according to documents sent to ThinkProgress by an anonymous source who claimed to work at the CCRB.

The four substantiated allegations date back to incidents that occurred in 2011 and 2012, before Garner’s death in July 2014.

A two-part complaint that was found to be credible by the CCRB involved a vehicle stop and search on Dec. 23, 2011. In that case, the documents show that the CCRB recommended “charges,” the most severe form of discipline that involves “an administrative prosecution in the NYPD Trial Room.” That prosecution could ultimately result in a loss of vacation days, suspension or termination, according to the CCRB website.

Instead, the NYPD chose to punish Pantaleo with “instructions,” or additional training. The CCRB describes that punishment as “the least severe discipline, often recommended for officers who misunderstand a policy.”

Another two-part complaint that was substantiated by the CCRB pertained to an abusive stop and frisk on June 27, 2012. But the NYPD’s Administrative Prosecution Unit only found Panteleo to be guilty of an abusive frisk, and cleared him of making an abusive stop.

While the CCRB recommended that Pantaleo lose a minimum of eight vacation days for that unauthorized frisk, he only ended up forfeiting two, according to a DNAInfo report.

The unsubstantiated allegations date back to 2009. The oldest one, from April 2009, accused Pantaleo of refusing to obtain medical treatment for someone, while another from June 2011 alleged that the cop hit someone against an “inanimate object” and used physical force.

A ThinkProgress analysis found that the number of allegations against Pantaleo is highly unusual, since only 4.9 percent of cops on the force have received eight or more complaints.

Pantaleo’s disciplinary records are at the center of a lawsuit between the Legal Aid Society and the Civilian Complaint Review Board. While a Manhattan judge ordered the release of the records in 2015, the city appealed.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Tuesday press conference that he hasn’t seen the leaked report on Pantaleo yet.

“I’d have to see it before I could comment on it,” he said. “I’m not going to do anything in theory.”

Additional reporting by Michael Gartland