The New York Police Department today fired Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island NYPD officer whose chokehold of Eric Garner was deemed responsible for Garner’s death in 2014, following a judge’s recommendation earlier this month. Representatives for the rank and file police, of course, are livid, and have set their sights on a different target following Pantaleo’s dismissal: 2020 presidential candidate and erstwhile Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio.
Pat Lynch, the president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Organization, the NYPD’s union, apparently asked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to remove de Blasio from office—despite the fact that the final decision on firing came from NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and had nothing to do with de Blasio. (The governor has the power to suspend the mayor, though things seemingly get a little hazy after that.)
But Lynch isn’t exactly arguing in good faith here. Look at this absolutely unhinged display:
“New York City police officers will now be considered reckless every time they put their hands on someone,” Lynch screamed, which is just wild. Pantaleo didn’t just “put his hands on someone,” he put Eric Garner in a chokehold. “That’s what our job is that’s what you expect when you dial 911 when there’s a criminal attacking you,” Lynch continued, which, no, I do not think the expectation when someone dials 911 that a man will come and choke them to death. Sure says a lot about what Lynch’s expectations for a police officer are!
Lynch’s official statement was just as red-faced, claiming that O’Neill “cringe[d] in fear of anti-police extremists.” In fact, O’Neill reluctantly did his job 5 years after Garner’s death, and only then after the Deputy Commissioner of Trials for the NYPD found that Pantaleo “consciously disregarded the substantial and unjustifiable risks of a maneuver explicitly prohibited by the department.”
It certainly doesn’t look great that de Blasio has attempted to wash his hands of the entire business by pissing off to the Iowa State Fair, but it’s fair to say that the blame for Pantaleo losing his job rests on one person alone: Pantaleo himself.