NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement in response to the decision to terminate the employment of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo over actions that resulted in the death of Eric Garner:
“For over five years, the Garner family and communities across the country have waited for justice in the death of Eric Garner. While we will never be able to change the events that transpired or bring Mr. Garner back, today, some semblance of justice is finally being served. In memory of Eric Garner and the countless others who have unjustly lost their lives, we will continue to fight for reforms to fix our broken criminal justice system and ensure that all of our communities feel safe.”
In the wake of the death of Eric Garner, then-Public Advocate Letitia James led the charge for reforms to police accountability and criminal justice. She was the first elected official to call for the entire NYPD to be outfitted with police body-worn cameras. Following her repeated actions and a report issued by her office, the NYPD implemented a full force body-worn camera program. Additionally, she was the first elected official to call for the creation of a special prosecutor to be used in cases of police misconduct, which resulted in the Attorney General of New York being appointed to this role. She also filed a lawsuit to release the minutes of the Grand Jury proceeding to ensure full transparency.