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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was faced with disciplinary charges over the death of Eric Garner 5 years ago, has been fired, Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Monday.

Why it matters: Pantaleo was the white NYPD officer accused of using an illegal chokehold while attempting to arrest Garner, whose subsequent death and final words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Justice Department's announcement in July that it was ending its investigation into Pantaleo without issuing federal charges prompted public outcry.

"It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a police officer," O'Neill said in a news conference Monday.

  • On Aug. 2, the NYPD suspended Pantaleo almost immediately after an administrative judge recommended that the New York Police Department fire him.
  • The DOJ's closing of the case in July meant Pantaleo would not be prosecuted, which resulted in even stronger public calls for his firing.

Context: Pantaleo, 34, had been collecting his paycheck and pension benefits while serving on desk duty without a gun, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"