Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who placed Eric Garner in the chokehold that killed him last year, has a round-the-clock security detail stationed outside his Staten Island home, he divulged in court papers this week. And his protectors aren’t just any rent-a-cops—they’re badge-and-gun carrying NYPD officers, paid for by the citizens of New York City.
The revelation came after the nonprofit Legal Aid Society requested that the number of Civilian Complaint Review Board complaints against Pantaleo—the formal mechanism by which New Yorkers can air their grievances about particular cops—be made public. Pantaleo is arguing that a previous leak of CCRB information led to death threats and harassment against him, and is using the two cops in a patrol car who sit outside his house 24 hours a day to show that the harassment was legit. The NYPD also installed surveillance cameras and a “panic button” at the home.
At least one person really has threatened to kill Pantaleo. In February, a Michigan man was arrested for writing, “I’m going to personally kill and behead Daniel Pantaleo. This is a written threat and has to be taken seriously” on Facebook. But it’s deeply disingenuous to connect that or any other instance of harassment to Pantaleo’s CCRB reports. If he is being harassed, something tells me it has much more to do with the fact that he killed an unarmed man on camera and got away with it than it does with past civilian complaints. Just a hunch.