Federal Prosecutor Sits in at Garner Administrative Trial

NEW YORK (AP) -
New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in May, 2019. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/File)

A federal prosecutor is sitting in on the administrative trial of a New York City police officer accused of killing Eric Garner with a chokehold banned by the department.

The appearance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes at a proceeding on Wednesday signaled that the Department of Justice still has an interest in how Garner died.

A federal inquiry began after a state grand jury declined to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo in 2014. Federal authorities are facing a mid-July deadline to decide whether to charge him with civil rights violations.

Pantaleo could be fired if an administrative judge determines he violated NYPD procedures.

Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement.