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What is happening with the New York Police Department’s internal investigation of the death of Eric Garner?

Garner, recall, was the Staten Island man who was choked to death by a pack of NYPD officers for the “crime” of selling of untaxed cigarettes. A grand jury decided not to indict the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who physically choked Garner in pursuit a few pennies—to this day Pantaleo and the other officers involved are still on the job.

Following the grand jury decision, outrage over the circumstances surrounding Garner’s death and the injustice of its consequences was near universal. Libertarians, conservatives, and liberals alike agreed that Garner should not have been killed, and that it is appalling—to say the least—that his killers avoided all charges.

Until now…well, sort of.

The NYPD has stripped Sergeant Kizzy Adonis of her badge and gun for her role in Garner’s death. But what’s odd about this is that Adonis is not the cop primarily responsible for Garner’s death.

By what logic does the officer (Pantaleo) who had his hands around Garner’s throat as he begged for mercy go free—while the officer (Adonis) who failed to tell Pantaleo to stop is removed from duty for “failure to supervise“?

I’m not complaining about the consequences for Adonis. I just can’t understand why she’s being singled out while the NYPD happily continues to employ Pantaleo and the other officers on the scene.

Garner’s family has expressed the same concern. His daughter, Erica, had this to say on Tuesday:

ERICA GARNER: My initial thought was it was no surprise. In the beginning, when the reports was being leaked to the media, we already knew that they was highlighting Kizzy Adonis’ actions, the fact that she lied on the report. Now, a year and a half later—

AMY GOODMAN: What was that lie?

ERICA GARNER: Oh, that my dad wasn’t in distress. She heard him say that “I can’t breathe,” but he wasn’t—she believed that he wasn’t in distress, which was clearly a lie. So, a year and a half later, for them to charge her for failure to supervise, I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s a political move. Those officers, as you can clearly see on the video, if she did say, “Let up. You got him already,” she is a supervising officer, and they disobeyed a direct order. And that further supports my argument in my article or my YouTube video, when I say that if you can find charges or enough charges to charge this black lady on failure to supervise, it was a lot of cops on the scene that day, and how come the other sergeant wasn’t charged yet? How come the borough commander? How come Bill de Blasio, the city’s mayor? How come Mayor de Blasio and William Bratton, the commissioner? It’s a lot of people that should be charged with failure to supervise, because they failed us on that day.

AMY GOODMAN: What has happened to Officer Pantaleo, the man who put your dad in a chokehold?

ERICA GARNER: He still has his job. He’s still getting paid. He’s still walking the streets of Staten Island.

It has been a year and a half since Garner died. His family deserves more closure—and more justice—than a “failure to supervise” charge for one unlucky scapegoat.

The failure here went far beyond supervision or a lack thereof. Eric Garner died because of a failure to protect and serve, a failure to act proportionately, and a failure to behave with even a modicum of decency toward a fellow human being.

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