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Statement from Assemblymember Reilly on the firing of Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo

CONTACT: Peter Giunta, 347.621.8031

The following statement is from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) on the Police Commissioner’s decision to fire Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo: 

“I am disheartened by Police Commissioner O’Neill’s decision today to fire Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo.  

The facts and evidence have gone through an exhaustive investigative process which included a State Grand Jury and a Department of Justice inquiry. 

I strongly believe that Police Officer Pantaleo was never given a fair or impartial hearing by the department’s Deputy Commissioner of Trials and that the recommendation delivered by the Deputy Commissioner, along with today’s decision to fire Police Officer Pantaleo was political. Mayor de Blasio and others will claim that justice was served — this is not justice.

The loss of human life is sad and tragic, but I have always stated that Police Officer Pantaleo did not intentionally cause Eric Garner’s death. While Police Officer Pantaleo may have violated the department’s Patrol Guide, it was not intentional.  The NYPD Patrol Guide is just that — only a guide. It does not always conform to the everyday scenarios that a police officer may encounter on the street.

I believe outside influence may have played a significant part in the Police Commissioner’s decision making process. It is my hope that our city will move forward in a positive way; however, one thing is certain: this tragic incident will no doubt play a significant role in how policing and community relations evolve in this city.”

Mike Reilly is a former Lieutenant with the New York City Police Department and was elected to represent the South Shore of Staten Island in the New York State Assembly in November 2018.  


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