After unarmed Eric Garner died during a confrontation with the New York City police in 2014, an officer involved in the fight admitted that he had submitted paperwork that exaggerated the seriousness of the deceased's suspected crimes.
During the sixth day of officer Daniel Pantaleo's disciplinary hearing, his former partner, Justin D & Amico, said he saw Garner selling loose cigarettes on the corner of Victory Blvd and St. Mark's Place in 2014.
Shortly thereafter, Garner was reportedly placed in a twenty-second chokehold by Pantaleo, where he told officers that he could not breathe & # 39; before he had a heart attack hours later and died.
Prosecutors at the hearing, from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, pointed to a number of inconsistencies in D & Amico & # 39; s first claims on Tuesday, first made shortly after Garner's death.
Garner is said to have been placed in a twenty-two chokehold by officer Daniel Pantaleo, where he told the officers that he could not breathe & # 39; before he got a cardiac arrest
The video that was made on July 17, 2014, led to national outrage over police tactics after Garner's death
At the time the incident occurred, D & Amico, who coordinated NYPD investigations into the sale of untaxed cigarettes, claimed that he had seen Garner sell loose cigarettes 200 meters away.
However, prosecutors were of the opinion that he was more than 320 feet away from Garner, suggesting that his view of the alleged criminal behavior might have been crooked.
D & Amico then went on to testify that he was the officer who processed Garner's arrest and initially accused him of a tax on crime, which requires that someone was in possession of at least 10,000 cigarettes, 22,000 cigars or 440 pounds of tobacco on hand to be prosecuted.
Although Garner lay breathless on the floor of Bay Street, he found only four sealed packs of cigarettes and one filled with 15 smokes in it and a Virginia tax stamp on the bottom.
In a cross-examination, D & # 39; Amico admitted that the charge was inaccurate and exaggerated.
He also admitted that this was not his first meeting with Garner. Two weeks earlier he said he was caught selling untaxed cigarettes, but had him warned.
Daniel Pantaleo's lawyer says his client becomes a scapegoat in a politically charged atmosphere (Pantaleo pictured above)
The then partner of Just Pantiano, Justin D & # 39; Amico, said that he had wrongly charged him a crime charge for selling cigarettes – despite the fact that he knew the amount he found did not fit into the bill
Pantaleo, 33, has been assigned to a odd-job since the deadly encounter on a sidewalk in the Staten Island district in 2014 when he and other officers tried to arrest Garner on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes
On the fateful day in July 2014, D & Amico said he believed Garner was armed and claimed to have seen a lump in his left side pocket.
When D & Amico showed a photo of the fight between Pantaleo, he said he believed his partner's arm was around Garner's body – not his neck, as the Prosecutor claims.
Another officer from the 120th district of the NYPD, William Meeks, also went to the stands on Tuesday, said Staten Island Live.
He arrived on the scene on July 17 when the tensions between the two officers and Garner began to escalate.
Meeks said that he was & # 39; not sure & # 39; whether Garner seemed to move his body in an attempt to desperately breathe air during the altercation when he was arrested by prosecutors.
& # 39; I don't know what he would move his body for, he was in the process of being arrested, & # 39; Meeks told the courtroom.
The last five days of the trial have provided a detailed picture of the events that led to the video about Garner's arrest, which became viral shortly after his death.
Gwen Carr, pictured during the disciplinary lawsuit on May 13, accused of murdering her son, right? The Civilian Complaints Review Board (CCRB) of the city, which prosecutes certain violations of police rules, determined in 2017 that Pantaleo used excessive force
The video led to a national outrage over police tactics and Pantaleo, 33, could be fired after the closing of the trial at the New York Police Department headquarters in Manhattan.
Garner & # 39; s mother and sister left the hearing in tears last week when the man who recorded the video, Ramsey Orta, testified from prison where he spends time on the costs of drugs and weapons.
Pantaleo's lawyer says his client becomes a scapegoat in a politically charged atmosphere.
Attorney Stuart London says it's a misconception that the expression & # 39; I can't breathe & # 39; was pronounced when the officer's hands were around Garner's neck. He said it happened when officers tried to fascinate Garner.
In video & # 39; s recorded on bystanders' cell phones, Garner, who had asthma, can argue with the officers before Pantaleo lays his arm around Garner's neck and brings him down on the sidewalk while other officers enter to stop Garner.
Garner, 43 years old, can be heard saying eleven times: & # 39; I can't breathe & # 39 ;, had previously had a heart attack in an ambulance and was later declared dead in the hospital.
The expression became a battle cry in the early days of the Black Lives Matter movement, which puts an end to the disproportionate use of deadly violence against non-white people by American police forces.
Protesters gather outside the Manhattan police headquarters to protest during police training for officer Daniel Pantaleo on May 21
A large Staten Island jury refused to file criminal charges against Pantaleo later in 2014, prompting the US Department of Justice to open an investigation into the death of civilians. Garner's family has criticized that investigation because it expanded into the fourth year without a solution.
Gwen Carr said: & # 39; It has been five long years. Pantaleo and all those other officers who killed my son that day are still collecting their salaries.
& # 39; They still go home every day and it is business as usual with them. But with me we relive this every day. & # 39;
In 2017, the Civilian Complaints Review Board (CCRB) of the city, which prosecutes certain violations of police rules, determined that Pantaleo had used excessive force.
Last July, the city said it would not wait any longer for the Ministry of Justice investigation to come to a successful conclusion before the disciplinary court case began.
CCRB prosecutors will present the case to a judge of the office of the substitute commissioner of the police department of litigation.
& # 39; We are confident that once all the evidence has been presented, the Police Commissioner Officer will find Pantaleo guilty of misconduct and eventually terminate him from the Ministry, & # 39; said CCRB Chairman Fred Davie earlier this month in a statement.
Although the chief investigator from New York City decided that Garner was partially killed by a chokehold who squeezed his neck, Pantaleo's lawyer and his union said it was not a chokehold as defined by the police, which had long banned the maneuver.
The city paid Garner's family $ 5.9 million in 2015 to settle an unlawful death claim.
The Pantaleo hearing will be held on 5 June.