New York Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo has reportedly been suspended from his job, shortly after a judge with the department recommended his firing over the 2014 choke hold death of Eric Garner.
Mr Pantaleo kept his job on the force for five years following Garner's death, despite a national uproar after a video emerged showing him choking Garner — an unarmed black man who had been selling loose cigarettes — on the street in Staten Island as the 43-year-old wheezed, "I can't breathe".
His firing was recommended by the NYPD's deputy commissioner of trials, Rosemarie Maldonado, in a recommendation to police commissioner James O'Neill.
The recommendation is non-binding, but comes just a month after federal prosecutors declined to charge Mr Pantaleo with a crime in the matter.
A 2014 grand jury in Staten Island also declined to charge Mr Pantaleo, even though the medical examiner at the time ruled Garner's death a homicide.
Garner's killing sparked national outrage and demonstrations, with protesters of police brutality using his final words as a rallying cry to draw into stark relief the use of unnecessary force in American police forces across the country.
And, the issue of Mr Pantaleo's continued employment bubbled up in the 2020 democratic debates earlier this week, with protesters chanting that the officer should be fired as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio stood on stage.
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