Indignation followed news that Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island officer who put Eric Garner in a deadly chokehold in 2014, racked up $40,000 in overtime pay in the past two years.
In records obtained through the Freedom of Information Law, Politico discovered that Pantaleo, 29, earned $23,000 in overtime pay in the year ending this June, bringing his yearly salary to $120,000. And in the previous year, he earned an additional $17,000 on top of his salary—for extra hours doing unknown and undisclosed duties.
On Wednesday, incoming police commissioner James O’Neill said that the NYPD will conduct a review of its overtime policies for officers on modified duty.
“We’ve identified a policy deficiency,” he told Poltico. “We have to go back and take a look at what our policies are going to be for modified officers.”
Outrage rang out in front of 1 Police Plaza Wednesday morning as Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Garner's mother Gwen Carr and community activists demanded officer Daniel Pantaleo be fired—so that can’t earn another cent from the city.
“Police officers who cross the line and take the life of innocent civilians without justification must be held accountable, not rewarded with overtime and bonus pay,” Jeffries declared, alluding to Pantaleo and about a dozen other cops who reeled in bonuses while on desk duty.
Protesters also called for the firing of Richard Haste, who accrued raises, overtime and “other pay” to the tune of $25,000 in the years since he was accused of shooting to death Bronx teen Ramarley Graham in 2012.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had been criticized for trying to protect Pantaleo’s disciplinary records under a new statute, expressed support for the probe into NYPD’s seemingly excessive overtime pay.
“These overtime payments raise real concerns,” said the Mayor’s spokesperson Austin Finan. “The mayor agrees this practice deserves a close examination.”
The office of the mayor maintains that he has always been in support of making police records public, and that he is trying change the law to ensure “New Yorkers are given the access and transparency they deserve,” Finan said.
Garner, who would have celebrated his birthday Sept. 15, has become a symbol for the issue of race-related, police-community tension that’s engulfed the nation.
A medical examiner determined that Panteleo’s chokehold was a contributing factor in Garner’s death, but the finding failed to convince a Staten Island grand jury to indict him. The verdict was met with waves of protest from around the country.
The matter of Pantaleo's wrongdoing continues to be investigated in a separate federal case.