There were other protests at Wednesday’s debate, as several activists shouted “Fire Pantaleo!” while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wrapped up his opening statement. It was a reference to Daniel Pantaleo, the New York police officer who five years ago choked Eric Garner to death as Garner gasped “I can’t breathe” 11 times. Pantaleo has remained on the police force ever since. This is Bill de Blasio defending his record on the killing later in the debate.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: “[The Garner family is] going to get justice. There’s finally going to be justice—I have confidence in that—in the next 30 days in New York. You know why? Because for the first time we are not waiting on the federal Justice Department, which told the city of New York that we could not proceed because the Justice Department was pursuing their prosecution. And years went by, and a lot of pain accrued.”
In fact, the Justice Department only requested that New York hold off on taking action on Pantaleo’s case, but it was not a legal requirement.