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Oct 31 2019

NYPD union head speaks out against sergeant’s discipline in Garner death

The Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) slammed the New York Police Department’s decision to take away the vacation time of a police supervisor who faced disciplinary charges associated with the banned chokehold death of Eric Garner.

NYPD Sgt. Kizzy Adonis was accused of failing to properly supervise officers when she arrived at the scene of the 2014 incident. Under a plea deal, Adonis will keep her job but lose the monetary value of 20 vacation days without pleading guilty. The move allowed her to avoid an NYPD disciplinary trial that was expected to take place this year.

At a subsequent press conference, SBA President Ed Mullins criticized the NYPD for framing the sergeant’s agreement as a guilty plea when she actually did not admit any wrongdoing. He described the NYPD disciplinary system as “unfair” and said that Adonis no longer wanted “to play pawn to the city’s politics.”

Mullins, who is Adonis’s union representative, pointed out that she did not witness the fatal chokehold. Garner was already unconscious by the time she arrived at the scene. He also told reporters that although Adonis was not the patrol supervisor that day, she proactively responded to officers’ radio calls because she happened to be in the vicinity. She told an EMT-trained officer to check on Garner and made sure an ambulance had been called.

Mullins said the sergeant did what she was trained to do but was “sacrificed” by the NYPD in response to public pressure. Garner’s family had called for the firing of Adonis and other officers who were at the scene. However, the NYPD only assigned disciplinary trials for Adonis and Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo was fired after a departmental trial for using unnecessary force and a banned chokehold on Garner in an effort to arrest him.