Officer, Daniel Pantaleo, New York City discussed on Morning Edition
I wonder if there's just such this just such a powerful organization that in a way, they're kind of untouchable Rick, thank you very much. My, you wrote about exactly this in your piece in the times, the other day. Yeah. I mean I do think that this is a problem. That is a specially bad in New York City in which when things go wrong. We don't hold often. Don't hold police officers accountable. The mayor likes to talk a lot about retraining the entire force, and he certainly got the number of police stops down. And that's all well and good, but it, you know, holding people accountable sends is the is the best way to send the message of what is and what is not acceptable. And, you know all the data shows, for example, officers are still out there using choke holds and yet, they're rarely held accountable, a lot of the officers who receive recommendations for disciplinary recommendations from the civilian complaint, review board never actually, get that discipline from the department itself. And I think the history of NYPD New York, you have the nation's largest police union, you have a police force that I think has been given the credit understandably right of turning around, what was once very high crime rate into what is considered this national miracle of the safest large city in the country, and then you also have a force that received the accolades, and rightly so as did the FBI after September eleventh tragedy, so they're seen as kind of above reproach. And I think that contributes tune environment of impunity, and I think that, you know, from mayor Bloomberg to Giuliani. And now Blasio people have these mayors have been very wary of, of the power that the police department holds in the city's politics that may be changing. But, but this case is an example of, of the cost of that the human cost of what happens when you when you don't hold people accountable. We're talking. About the testimony so far, and the departmental trial of officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of their garner on Staten Island in twenty fourteen with mar- gay New York Times at a board member, and Phil Stinson professor and criminologist at bowling green state university in Ohio. Here's a police misconduct expert and Kenny in the Bronx, WNYC. Hi kenny. Good morning. Good morning to you and your. Join the grand jury testimony. It's been any of this revelation that we're talking about now. And terms of the show, cold being and testimony and EMI report and anything else, get into the grand jury testimony for this officer. And in that the, the training of these officers, the medical condition and they do say, I can't breathe depend on a heart attack. Whatever don't hang up. But I noticed that the police department until these to keep doing your job, no matter what you say. So if I can't believe he's still gonna get handcuff enough. I remember goal somebody was Hank and died. And EMMY said the way his hands tied behind made it detrimental to him to, to breathe. That's all I have to say thank you. Thank you very much, again, professor Stinson. There's a couple of points. The Kenny raises one is whether these revelations that are coming out in the departmental trial, the ones that we've been talking about from the medical examiner from the head of recruit training. This text message that made people in the courtroom gas, not a big deal from the commander would these have been presented to the grand jury that considered charges against officer Pantaleo, and dismissed as not rising to, to the level of criminal activity. Would they have been presented for that matter to the US, Justice department, which is considering civil rights violation potential charges against any of the officers involved is there a way to know for you as a police misconduct expert. Well, it's difficult to say in this case, but I can tell you that. Prosecutors of can present anything they want to grand jury, and the old adage, is that grand jury will indict him sandwich. Meaning anything a prosecutor presents will result in indictment for prosecutor really wants an indictment want to. So, you know, it's difficult to say in this case, I don't know the specifics in terms of what was presented to grand juries, but we do know that the officer was not indicted, you mentioned earlier this is the latest in a push for Justice in this case. And I would beg to differ to the extent that I don't think police department disciplinary process can result in Justice that's going to satisfy much of anyone, and certainly that's going to be a problem here. But we are again learning a lot more that's become public at this point, but it's awfully late. It's almost five years since Eric garner was killed. Yeah. I mean, I think I couldn't agree more. This is too little too late. But there's value in this trial because of what we are learning. I think the most upsetting thing is honestly can't remember how much of what was presented to the grand jury in two thousand fourteen five years ago now was public but I do know that the revelations that were discussing here today, have never been released to the to the to the public. And, and so there's value in that it's depressing because the Gulf between what the public knew and what the NYPD and extensively. The mayor new is pretty vast here and it's pretty damning. I think the idea that the mayor and the police Commissioner both of them Bratton and now Neil have been aware of the details gory. Details of how the death occurred and did nothing essentially for five years, and we're comfortable doing nothing is. I think the mayor the city some answers. What's the range of possible disciplinary action after this trial is completed because Pantaleo was still on the forest all these years getting paid. I understand that his pay actually went up in the year after garner staff, even though he was taken off the beaten or taken out of the field and put on desk, duty, somehow he wrecked up more overtime from what I read and got paid more the the next year. But what's the range of disciplinary actions, depending on what the civilian complaint, review board trial, fines, and the recommendations Sally Goldenberg of politico actually did a couple years ago, but how he got thirty five percent increase in pay the year after Eric garner was killed the rain. I mean, this could range anywhere from loss of vacation days to modified duty to which he's already on to being fired. And I think. Anything less than my opinion, you know, being fired would be not enough. I think there are also some questions about some of the other officers and supervisors who were involved and, you know, Lieutenant Bannon, for example, who is the one who sent that tax message and oversaw, this operation, one of the folks who did there's some questions about whether they should also see displinary charges, I would say and more. What about the other officers at the scene in particular because I always wondered why the focus has been solely on officer Pantaleo, who took him down with a chokehold, if it was a chokehold. But others at the scene. Were also holding them down. Right. Well, he was saying, I can't breathe. It was really once he was on the ground that he was going. I can't breathe eleven times, and it wasn't Pantaleo or just Pantaleo who pressing him against the ground during that not at all. I mean I have trouble with that. Not a lawyer though. So maybe there's something there that, that I don't understand. But it seems like there were a lot of people to blame in this situation and it's not clear. Why officer Pantaleo is the only person being looked at here. But actually, yeah, I really don't know. That's a question. I've, I've wondered about myself fill, you know, to the extent that there's sympathy for the police officer here. The defense that rings with many people is he was doing his job. He wasn't hurt or kill Eric garner officer in his defense team say gonna was resisting arrest. He was well, over three hundred pound really big guy, and so Pantaleo did what he needed to do to subdue him, resisting arrest, and then the fact that he was. As the defense describes him morbidly obese contributed to his death. So how, how does that look to you considering that apparently the grand jury saw at that way? And there are many New Yorkers who won't but there are many New Yorkers who will also see it that way. Well, well, I think there's some there's some good points there. I certainly can tell you I was a police officer for several years of very long time ago when it was a young man. And I can remember instances where trying to handcuff somebody who was resisting that they would say something along the lines of having trouble breathing or something like that. And sometimes when police officer then lets them up and it doesn't finish handcuffing them the fights on again. So, you know there's something to be said for that. I think a police officers few as they're going to finish, handcuffing him, and then he will be able to be set up in and hopefully breathing easier at that point. But, you know, I'm asked often, what the purpose of my research is some people seem to think that it's anti policing or something, and it's not the main purpose of our research is to improve policing. And I think if anything comes of this disciplinary trial, the public parts of it is that maybe we can improve policing not only with the NYPD but at the thousands and thousands of law enforcement agencies across the. Country in that happens. That's a good thing. Mud, you've been pressing on the mayor and some of your responses and the responsibility that he has to at least give more explanations to the city. He as we all know is now running for president. How do you think those two things intersect with each other? Do you think you know, people have been raising questions about the possible impact on New York of him running for mayor mostly in the context of whether he'll pay enough attention to the day to day running of the city? But one could also ask, well if he gets some kind of controversial ruling or whatever the ruling is from the civilian complaint, review board trial in this explosive, and certainly nationally known case that there could be political imperatives that color his response. Yeah. You know, I have I think about this question. Maybe more than is healthy. But I think that the mayor. Ran for office in New York City in twenty thirteen promising to hold the police accountable to change the way they do business in New York City, he did so making it clear to the people of New York with a brilliant, campaign ad that his son is black by racial, and that he understood the cost of stop and frisk. He was elected really only because of the, the support he got in the black community in New York City, and yet, he also from very early on..