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History of Complaints Against Officer Who Had Eric Garner in Apparent Chokehold

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TWC News: History of Complaints Against Officer Who Had Eric Garner in Apparent Choke Hold
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NY1 has learned the officer who seems to have used a chokehold on a man who died in police custody last week has a history of complaints against him. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.

Police officer Daniel Pantaleo can be seen on a video waving after other video seems to show him using a chokehold, banned by the NYPD, on a suspect.

Police suspected that man, Eric Garner, was selling untaxed, loose cigarettes.

Garner, an asthmatic Staten Island man who was married with six children, died.

Pantaleo is on desk duty, with his badge and gun taken away.

Sources tell NY1 the 29-year-old racked up seven complaints to the NYPD's Civilian Complaint Review Board in seven years on the force.

Two of the seven were substantiated and two were for excessive force.

The city also settled a civil rights lawsuit brought against Pantaleo two years ago.

Pantaleo claimed there were drugs in the back seat.The city paid out $30,000.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, while vacationing in Italy, there is a serious commitment to a full investigation into Garner's death.

"I leave the specific actions within the police department to Commissioner [William] Bratton. I have absolute faith in his judgment," de Blasio said.

"They murdered him, honest to God," said Jewel Miller, who knew Garner.

Outrage is growing at police. A makeshift memorial has sprung up where Garner died Thursday.

Meanwhile, another officer was also placed on desk duty. Sources identify him as Justin Damico.

The four EMTs who responded to the scene are suspended without pay. One of them told police at one point, Garner was breathing and had a pulse.

Richmond University Medical Center says the EMTs are not working at the hospital or throughout the 911 system.

Garner's friends and family say he was trying to break up a fight when the arrest happened.

The police union has condemned the decision to put the officers on desk duty. Meanwhile Garner's friends and family are getting ready for his funeral Wednesday night. Before that, a candlelight vigil will be held on Staten Island on Tuesday night.

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