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NYPD Sergeant at Scene of Eric Garner's Death Hit With Departmental Charges

By  Nicholas Rizzi and Rachelle Blidner | January 8, 2016 11:58am 

Eric Garner Died During an Arrest on Staten Island
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New York Daily News

STATEN ISLAND — A sergeant at the scene of Eric Garner's arrest was hit with disciplinary charges by the NYPD on Friday as part of its investigation into the death of the father of six.

Sgt. Kizzy Adonis was stripped of her gun and badge and placed on modified duty after being charged with four counts of failure to supervise, authorities said.

The NYPD did not provide more details about the charges but said they served them to "preserve the disciplinary statute of limitations" after the department put its internal review of Garner's death on hold pending a federal inquiry.

Garner, 43, died on July 17, 2014, while being arrested for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island street.

Video taken by Ramsey Orta — who won a New York Press club award for the footage — shows Officer Daniel Pantaleo putting Garner in an apparent chokehold and dragging him to the ground as the asthmatic man pleads "I can't breathe" numerous times.

A grand jury later ruled not to indict Pantaleo in Garner's death.

Adonis had been on her way to a meeting when the call came over the radio, and she decided to check it out, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said in an afternoon press conference. She arrived on the scene as Garner was being taken to the ground, Mullins said.

Adonis did her job by checking with an EMT-trained officer that Garner was still breathing and that an ambulance was called, Mullins said.

"She is no doctor. She is no trained EMT," he said as Adonis stood silently next to him. "She did what the NYPD taught her to do."

In an internal NYPD report, Adonis told investigators "the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and that he did not appear to get worse," the New York Daily News reported.

Mullins slammed the NYPD's decision as "political pandering," noting no disciplinary charges have yet been lodged against another sergeant at the scene or any higher-ups. 

Adonis, who began policing in July 2002, was promoted to sergeant on June 25, 2014 — less than a month before Garner's death — and was automatically placed on 18 months probation. Charges were filed right before "the clock ran out" on her probation, Mullins said.

Adonis had an "unblemished" disciplinary record before these charges, Mullins said.