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Sergeants Union Says Pantaleo Commanding Officer Being Used As Political Scapegoat – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Sergeants Benevolent Association is blasting the NYPD for penalizing the commanding officer in the Eric Garner chokehold case.

Kizzy Adonis reached a plea deal to keep her job. Her union said Thursday she’s being made a political scapegoat, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

The NYPD decided Adonis will not stand trial and will keep her job. She will lose 20 vacation days in exchange for a guilty plea on charges of failure to supervise, but the SBA says Adonis pleaded no contest and never admitted guilt.

“Fact, Sgt. Adonis never failed to supervise. She did her job. She was in simple terms sacrificed by then-Commissioner [Bill] Bratton in order to offset public pressure,” SBA President Ed Mullins said.

Web Extra: SBA Reacts After Sgt. Adonis Disciplined In Garner Death:

In 2014, Adonis arrived at the Staten Island scene after Officer Daniel Pantaleo had already wrestled Garner to the ground. It’s still unclear how she failed to supervise. The SBA claims she was not in charge of the scene.

The disciplinary action against her comes just two days after the officer under her watch, Panteleo, was fired for putting Garner in a banned chokehold.

MORE: Garner Case: While Family Praises Pantaleo Decision, Police Union Blasts Move As ‘Absolutely Embarrassing’

Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, was outraged by Adonis’ deal with the NYPD, saying: “It’s disgraceful that they waited more than five years until after Pantaleo was fired to cut her a deal so that all she’s facing is losing some vacation days and they want us to accept these crumbs as if there is some justice.”

On Thursday, Police Commissioner James O’Neill explained the department was held back on taking action.

“Initially, was the Staten Island grand jury did not indict Officer Pantaleo and through conversations with the Department of Justice they asked us to hold off on moving forward with our administrative trial,” O’Neill said. “And then in the summer of 2018 they said we could go ahead. They gave us the green light to go ahead.”

MORE: Only On CTM: Police Commissioner O’Neill Opens Up About Officer Pantaleo’s Firing

The SBA and Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch have been very critical of O’Neill’s decision to fire Panteleo, but the commissioner continues to defend his choice.

“My skin was very thin when I started this job three years ago. It’s not so thin anymore,” O’Neill said. “This is what Patty does. He thinks this is the proper way to represent his membership, but my job is to protect everybody in this city. The message is that there is accountability in the NYPD.”

“I’ve had a lot of stumbling blocks that has come up to me, but I am not stopping this fight,” Gwen Carr said.

Garner’s mother is expected to react to the Adonis deal later Thursday. As for whether the sergeant actually pleaded guilty, CBS2 has a call in to the NYPD to try to sort that out.

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