NYPD officer faces police charges in Eric Garner’s chokehold death

In this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo protesters rally in New York's Foley Square against a state grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. (Jason DeCrow/AP Photo, File)

In this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo protesters rally in New York's Foley Square against a state grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner. (Jason DeCrow/AP Photo, File)

The New York Police Department has begun disciplinary proceedings against a white officer accused in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man who gasped, “I can’t breathe.”

A police spokesman says departmental charges were presented Friday to Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

NYPD officials had said they’d start the disciplinary process against Pantaleo in Eric Garner’s July 2014 death, which sparked protests about police treatment of black people. The officials had been waiting to see whether federal prosecutors would bring criminal charges but decided to move forward.

A police watchdog agency called the Civilian Complaint Review Board will prosecute Pantaleo.

Pantaleo appears on a cellphone video putting Garner in an apparent chokehold, which is banned under NYPD policy.

Pantaleo’s lawyer says he used a takedown move taught by the police department and expects to be vindicated after trial.

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