The cop at the center of the Eric Garner chokehold death will face a departmental trial this spring, a judge declared today.
The NYPD trial for Daniel Pantaleo will begin May 13 and is expected to last about two weeks as his attorneys and lawyers for the Civilian Complaint Review Board are expected to call 13 witnesses each.
Garner died after Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him for selling “loosie” cigarettes. He has been on desk duty since the 2014 death.
Pantaleo’s lawyer Stuart London asked NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado, who is overseeing the case, to delay the trial until after July 18 in a bid to run out the clock on the 5-year statute of limitations for federal civil rights charges.
London said he sought the delay because he feared the proceedings would uncover new facts that could lead to the “DOJ swooping in at the last minute and arresting my client.”
But Maldonado wasn’t convinced, and instead set the trial for May.
“I want to make sure this trial moves forward as expeditiously as possible,” she said.
The feds were mulling charges against Pantaleo, but a probe is still ongoing.
With no end to the investigation in sight, the NYPD decided over the summer to move forward with the trial.
If the Maldonado rules against Pantaleo, his punishment will be up to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore and Max Jaeger
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