Cop who put Eric Garner in chokehold sued after allegedly injuring man in crash

Reuters/Andrew Kelly
​The behavior of the New York Police Department officer who placed Staten Island man Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold is under the microscope once again, this time for allegedly crashing a car into and injuring another man.

In a lawsuit filed in Queens Supreme Court, Leonardo Aguirre claims that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo crashed a police vehicle into his car while speeding on June 20, the New York Daily News reported. As a result of the crash, Aguirre says he suffered from “severe and permanent” injuries to his neck, left shoulder and knees, the lawsuit claims.

An unnamed source within the police department told the Daily News, however, that Pantaleo was the one who was hit by another car. Additionally, the source added that Pantaleo was flashing his police vehicle’s emergency lights and responding to a call at the time.

According to the lawsuit, the accident on June 20 occurred less than a month before Pantaleo became involved in the attempted arrest of Eric Garner, a, African-American father of six who was approached by officers on Staten Island for selling loose cigarettes. On July 17, Pantaleo placed Garner in a chokehold as several other officers helped to subdue him. Garner died as a result of the chokehold.

A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo on criminal charges, despite the fact that the entire incident was caught on tape, sparking massive protests against the NYPD across the city. The officer is still under review by the NYPD, which is looking into the Garner incident internally.

READ MORE:NYPD says cops won’t be sanctioned for altering Wikipedia entries

Notably, this isn’t the first time Pantaleo has been targeted in a lawsuit. Two men won $30,000 after the city settled a 2012 lawsuit claiming that Pantaelo strip-searched two men and slapped their testicles.

Pantaleo was also among several officers named in separate 2012 lawsuits regarding the same incident, a drug raid during which two men said they were arrested because Pantaleo claimed they were in possession of marijuana. Both men also said they had their private parts and genitals searched.