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Eric Garner's Daughter Says Charged NYPD Officer Tried to Save Dad's Life

By Nicholas Rizzi | January 11, 2016 2:43pm
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New York Daily News

STATEN ISLAND — Eric Garner's daughter slammed the NYPD for issuing disciplinary charges to a sergeant who she claimed was the only officer who tried to save her father's life.

In a blog posted on her website Monday, Erica Garner showed support for Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, who was stripped of her gun and badge Friday.

The NYPD announced on Friday that Adonis — who started on the force in 2002 and was promoted less than a month before Garner's death — was placed on modified duty after being charged with four counts of failure to supervise.

"Adonis... wasn't part of the team that piled on [Garner's] back," Erica Garner wrote Monday.

"In the video that captured the incident, we all see Adonis creep away. What we didn't see? She went to the ambulance stationed on the corner of Bay Street. According to witnesses at the scene, Adonis spoke to an EMT and made an additional call for assistance — I guess noone else planned on saving my father's life that day.

"So why was Sgt. Adonis the only one facing charges? One guess: like my father, Sgt. Adonis is black."

Her backing for the sergeant came a day after the New York Post reported that three of the four EMT workers who responded to the scene and were subsequently suspended came back at work, with the fourth on modified duty.

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 shows Officer Daniel Pantaleo putting Garner in an apparent chokehold and dragging him to the ground as the asthmatic man pleaded, "I can't breath" numerous times.

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

Adonis was on her way to a meeting when the call came in about Garner and she decided to check it out, Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, said on Friday.

She arrived on scene as Garner was taken to the ground, and checked with an EMT-trained officer that he was still breathing and that an ambulance was called, Mullins said.

"She is no doctor. She is no trained EMT," Mullins said. "She did what the NYPD taught her to do."

In her Monday post, Erica Garner wrote that she agreed with Mullins and added that the manager of the beauty salon that Garner had been standing in front of heard Adonis tell other officers, "Let up, you got him already."

After Garner's death, the EMT workers who responded were suspended without pay, but two of them were reinstated shortly afterwards, the Post reported.

Only the fourth responder, Nicole Palmeri, is still barred from responding to 911 calls, the Post reported.

The paper also reported that Richmond University Medical Center, which employed two of the medics, paid Garner's family $900,000 in a "confidential settlement" over his death.

The family was previously paid $5.9 million in a settlement.

Erica Garner, who previously announced she's considering running for Congress against former District Attorney Dan Donovan, ended her post by saying she would call out corruption in the criminal justice system and demand justice for people killed by police if elected.

"If I run for congress, I guarantee full transparency and accountability," she wrote. "It's time to step up and become the leaders we've been waiting for."