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Fired New York police officer implicated in death of Eric Garner sues to get job back at department

Fired New York police officer implicated in death of Eric Garner sues to get job back at department
The NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner (a suspect accused of selling loose cigarettes) with a chokehold in 2014 and was later fired for lying about the incident has filed a lawsuit in hopes of being re-hired.

Ex-officer Daniel Pantaleo brought the suit on Wednesday, arguing his termination was “arbitrary and capricious,” after a disciplinary hearing in June determined his use of a chokehold maneuver prohibited by his department was “reckless” and recommended he be fired.

Under New York’s civil code, which gives public employees means of redress for government rulings, Pantaleo has the right to appeal his firing. His attorney, Stuart London, confirmed the new lawsuit to NBC News.

Though the officer maintained he did not use the chokehold in question, or apply excessive force against Garner, Deputy Police Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado – who oversaw Pantaleo’s disciplinary hearing – found he was “untruthful” in his version of events, which she deemed “implausible and self-serving.”

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In announcing his termination in August, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said it was “clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.”

A Staten Island grand jury failed to bring any indictments against Pantaleo in 2014, while the Justice Department refused to introduce any federal charges against him over the summer. However, in a civil suit against the city of New York, Garner’s family won a nearly $6-million settlement in 2015.

In a harsh response to Pantaleo’s suit, Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network issued a statement vowing to “pack the courts while wearing neck braces” in a show of “solidarity” with the Garner family, and said the lawsuit was “not only disrespectful to the police” but the victim’s relatives as well.

Garner’s killing generated intense public backlash, energizing the Black Lives Matter movement and inspiring nationwide protests against police brutality.

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