An NYPD sergeant has been stripped of her gun and badge and charged internally in the July 2014 detention death of Eric Garner, the first official accusation of wrongdoing in the case that helped spark a national movement on the role of race in policing.
Kizzy Adonis was one of the supervising officers at the scene of Garner’s death on Staten Island during an arrest on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. She was not part of the team out investigating that day but heard the radio call and was nearby and responded to the scene. Both Adonis and Garner are black.
Officials said Friday that Adonis was charged with failure to supervise, an internal disciplinary sanction. Sgt. Ed Mullins, the head of her union, called the charge ridiculous and political.
“She didn’t have to go there — she chose to go there to help out and look what happens,” he said, adding that it was Commissioner William Bratton, not Adonis, who is to blame.
The encounter, caught on video by an onlooker, spurred protests about police treatment of black men. Garner, an asthmatic father of six, was seen yelling, “I can’t breathe!” 11 times before losing consciousness.