NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The final moments of Eric Garner’s life were captured on video that has been seen all over the world, sparking outrage and protests.
But five years after his death, Police Commissioner of New York City James P. O’Neill told FOX 5 NY that much has changed as a result.
“We knew we had to get a connection to the community, we had to establish relationships and keep developing those relationships to keep everybody in the city safe,” O’Neill said.
Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who applied the chokehold that killed Garner, remains part of the NYPD, on modified duty as he was never charged by the state or federal government. O’Neill told FOX 5 that his status should be decided by the second or third week in August. However, members of Garner’s family, including his daughter Emerald, say they will continue their fight to see that Pantaleo loses his job with the police force.
“You can say it was an accident, but you still need to be held accountable,” Emerald Garner said. “If somebody dies in my custody it is my responsibility.”
In the aftermath of Garner’s death, all members of the NYPD went through de-escalation and crisis intervention training and body cameras are now worn by all officers on patrol as well.
However, the foundation of the changes is built on O’Neill’s idea of Neighborhood Coordination Officers, or NCO’s, whose job it is to know the people to live in their precinct.
According to O’Neill, at its core it’s a crime fighting strategy that incorporates the community that is having positive effects.
“Crime continues to go down, specifically violence,” O’Neill said.