A heckler took NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s to task on live TV Sunday pressing the presidential contender about consequences for the other cops who were on hand when Eric Garner was choked to death by NYPD officer Daniel Panteleo.
“What about Lieutenant [Christopher] Bannon? What about Officer [Mark]Ramos? What about other officers?” yelled a woman who was later identified as Julianne Hoffenberg Director of Operations for The Gathering for Justice, a criminal justice reform organization.
The cops she mentioned were reportedly officer Pantaleo when he wrapped his arm about Garner’s neck and applied a banned chokehold outside a Staten Island store, killing him.
After a five year investigation Pantaleo was finally fired by the NYPD earlier this month, although he dodged getting charged for Garner’s killing.
De Blasio said the federal government fell short when holding Pantaleo accountable.
“The United States Department of Justice failed here miserably,” de Blasio said.
The department he said went “five years without even deciding they were going to act and telling the city of New York not to act.”
“I think we need a law in this country — federal law — that says in these dynamics, there has to be a mandate that the Justice Department must act,” de Blasio said.
“It could be one year, two years, whatever standard we set, they must make a decision, they must act.”
De Blasio was also challenged about how he plans to deal with mental health issues within his rank given that nine police officers reportedly committed suicide this year.
De Blasio agreed we’ve “got to do a lot more for our officers.”
“But this is part of a bigger reality,” de Blasio said. “I just want to say this election may be the first election in American history where mental health is front and center as an issue.”