The Latest: Police union head blasts firing over chokehold

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on developments in the Eric Garner case (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

The head of New York City’s main police union is criticizing the police commissioner’s decision to fire an officer who placed an unarmed black man in a chokehold that contributed to the man’s death in 2014.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Commissioner James O’Neill’s announcement Monday that he has fired Officer Daniel Pantaleo shows O’Neill “has chosen politics and his own self-interest over the police officers he claims to lead.”

Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by Pantaleo during an arrest. Pantaleo’s lawyer has said the officer used a reasonable amount of force.

Lynch said O’Neill “will wake up tomorrow to discover that the cop-haters are still not satisfied, but it will be too late.”

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12:40 p.m.

After five years of investigations and protests, a New York City police officer has been fired for the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced Monday that he has fired Officer Daniel Pantaleo based on a recent recommendation of a department disciplinary judge.

Pantaleo is the officer who was recorded on video wrestling Eric Garner to the ground in 2014, with his arm wrapped tightly around Garner’s neck.

Garner’s dying words of “I can’t breathe” became a flash point in a national debate over race and police use of force.

Pantaleo’s lawyer has said the officer used a reasonable amount of force and didn’t mean to hurt Garner.

A state grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo. Federal authorities announced last month that they wouldn’t bring civil rights charges.

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11:15 a.m.

New York City’s police commissioner has scheduled a midday news conference as the city waits for his decision on whether to fire a police officer involved in the 2014 death of an unarmed black man.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill said he would make an announcement at 12:30 p.m. Monday on an undisclosed topic.

O’Neill has been deliberating whether to accept a disciplinary judge’s recommendation that Officer Daniel Pantaleo be fired for using a banned chokehold on Eric Garner.

Garner’s dying words of “I can’t breathe” became a flash point in a national debate over race and police use of force.

Pantaleo’s lawyer has said the officer didn’t mean to hurt Garner.

A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo. Federal authorities announced last month they wouldn’t bring civil rights charges.

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