The behavior of the New York Police Department officer who placed Staten Island man Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold is under the microscope once again, this time for allegedly crashing a car into and injuring another man.
In a lawsuit filed in
Queens Supreme Court, Leonardo Aguirre claims that NYPD Officer
Daniel Pantaleo crashed a police vehicle into his car while
speeding on June 20, the New York Daily News reported. As a result of the crash, Aguirre
says he suffered from “severe and permanent” injuries to
his neck, left shoulder and knees, the lawsuit claims.
An unnamed source within the police department told the Daily
News, however, that Pantaleo was the one who was hit by another
car. Additionally, the source added that Pantaleo was flashing
his police vehicle’s emergency lights and responding to a call at
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March 30, 2015
According to the lawsuit, the accident on June 20 occurred less
than a month before Pantaleo became involved in the attempted
arrest of Eric Garner, a, African-American father of six who was
approached by officers on Staten Island for selling loose
cigarettes. On July 17, Pantaleo placed Garner in a chokehold as
several other officers helped to subdue him. Garner died as a
result of the chokehold.
A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo on criminal
charges, despite the fact that the entire incident was caught on
tape, sparking massive protests against the NYPD across the city.
The officer is still under review by the NYPD, which is looking
into the Garner incident internally.
Notably, this isn’t the first time Pantaleo has been targeted in
a lawsuit. Two men won $30,000 after the city settled a 2012
lawsuit claiming that Pantaelo strip-searched two men and slapped
Pantaleo was also among several officers named in separate 2012
lawsuits regarding the same incident, a drug raid during which
two men said they were arrested because Pantaleo claimed they
were in possession of marijuana. Both men also said they had
their private parts and genitals searched.