Top officials at the New York City police department believe that someone should be held accountable for the 2014 choking death of Eric Garner—and it’s not the actual police officer who wrapped his arms around Garner’s neck.
Instead it was the officer’s supervisor, Sergeant Kizzy Adonis, who has been brought up on departmental charges, placed on modified duty and charged with four counts of ‘failure to supervise,’” writes the New York Daily News. She was also stripped of her badge and gun and “barred from doing street enforcement,” Stephen Davis, the department’s chief spokesman said in a press release on Friday, with Adonis quietly standing by his side.
Adonis, who has been a member of the NYPD for the past 14 years, was one of two supervisors to show up on the scene some 18 months ago, the New York Times notes. She watched as the unarmed Garner was placed in a chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo, while he and other officers tried to arrest Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. As Garner was dying, he declared numerous times “I can’t breathe,” all of which was caught on tape by bystander Ramsey Orta.
Yet according to NYPD internal documents, Adonis told investigators that she believed “the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and that he did not appear to get worse,” but then potentially contradicted herself by saying she “believed she heard the perpetrator state that he was having difficulty breathing.”
Whether Adonis will be permanently terminated won’t be decided until the current federal investigation of Garner’s death has been completed, the NY Times says.
Meanwhile, Garner’s wife says these charges are “meaningless.”
“When I get an indictment or a prosecution, then I’ll be happy,” Esaw Garner told the Daily News.
However, Reverend Al Sharpton feels differently, given that Adonis “had an opportunity to stop it.”
“This is a good sign, but it’s certainly not all we want…I think all the officers that were there need to be brought up on charges once the federal investigation is over,” he said.
Ironically, despite the coroner labeling Garner’s death a homicide, in December of 2014, a Staten Island grand jury refused to indict Panteleo on any criminal charges. He currently remains on “modified duty but has yet to face any departmental charges,” the NY Daily News notes.