Defense rests in NYPD trial of Daniel Pantaleo

The defense in the disciplinary trial of New York City Police Department officer Daniel Pantaleo rested on Wednesday.

Pantaleo is accused of using a banned chokehold on Eric Garner in 2014. Garner then died. 

A medical examiner determined that the chokehold caused Garner's death.

However an expert witness brought in by the defense testified that Pantaleo did not use a chokehold.

"In the morning, we had an expert, a trainer in our police academy, state professionally that the maneuver that was used was proper and taught in our police academy," said Patrick Lynch, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents rank-and-file uniformed officers.

Prosecutors did not file criminal charges against Pantaleo after Garner's death, however the Civilian Complaint Review Board charged him with reckless use of a chokehold and intentional restriction of breathing.

In a decision that surprised the courtroom, the defense rested without ever calling Pantaleo to the stand, instead submitting his initial statements to internal affairs as his testimony.

"The specific reason he did not take the stand is because there's still an outstanding federal investigation until July 18," said Stuart London, Pantaleo's attorney.

The choice not to have Pantaleo testify angered Garner supporters, however.

"Because he can give in a statement that cannot be challenged, is that fair, is that justice?" Gwen Carr, Garner's mother, said. "No. I don't think that's justice."

If found guilty, Pantaleo could be face a range of punishments, from a loss of vacation days to being fired from the force. 

The hearing will resume Thursday at 10 a.m.