A sergeant with the New York Police Department accused of failing to adequately supervise the officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold before his death has made a deal with the department to lose 20 of her vacation days but keep her job.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said she was “disgusted” that Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, a 42-year-old veteran of the NYPD, had only received a slap on the wrist.
“I am outraged and disgusted by how the de Blasio administration and the NYPD continue to show that they don’t care about the murder of my son or black lives,” Carr said in a statement.
Adonis was one of two supervisors who initially responded to the scene of Garner’s 2014 arrest in Staten Island. Garner died after officer Daniel Pantaleo wrapped an arm around his neck. “I can’t breathe,” Garner said repeatedly before his death.
Pantaleo was fired by the NYPD on Monday. His attorney said Pantaleo would appeal.
Adonis ― who was seen standing near Pantaleo in a video of the deadly arrest ― pleaded guilty this week to multiple departmental charges of “failure to supervise” during the encounter, The New York Times reported. Her case will reportedly be the last disciplinary action taken by the NYPD in connection with Garner’s death. The Times said that Adonis and Pantaleo would be the only two officers charged with breaking police rules in the Garner case, though more than a dozen officers had been involved.
Explaining why the NYPD had not fired Adonis, department sources told the New York Daily News that while Police Commissioner James O’Neill had found the sergeant’s supervision during Garner’s arrest to be “lacking in certain areas,” he determined “that nothing about her actions on that day either caused the use of the banned chokehold or delayed the arrival of medical attention for Mr. Garner.”
The president of Adonis’ labor union, Ed Mullins, lambasted the department’s decision to charge the officer, calling the move “bullshit” and “political pandering to the anti-police rhetoric that’s out there,” New York Post reported.
City Council member Donovan Richards, who’d previously called for “all” officers involved in Garner’s death to “be held accountable,” questioned why Adonis, who is Black, was singled out to face charges.
“For the only person to be charged off of this besides Pantaleo to be a person of color certainly raises eyebrows,” Richards told the Times.
Garner’s mother on Wednesday lambasted the way New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD had handled her son’s case.
“It’s disgraceful that they waited more than five years, until after Pantaleo was fired, to cut [Adonis] a deal so that all she’s facing is losing some vacation days and they want us to accept these crumbs as if there is some justice,” Carr said.
“By refusing to schedule a disciplinary trial for Adonis, de Blasio and the NYPD are actively participating in an ongoing cover-up because they don’t want the public to know how deep, how wide and how high the wrongdoing in this case went,” she added.
In a statement provided to the Post, a spokeswoman for de Blasio said people were “being held accountable and there is finally some measure of justice” in the Garner case.
“We hope that this brings the Garner family some small measure of peace,” the statement said.