Cut off from his $85,000-a-year desk duty job which allowed him to collect a salary while forbidding him from carrying a badge and gun, New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo expects to receive close to $100,000 in GoFundMe donations. The donations are from individuals who believe he was wrongly terminated for placing an illegal chokehold on Eric Garner, leading to the 43-year-old man's death.
A GoFundMe had been set up on August 2 for Pantaleo before he was terminated from his position on August 19, after NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado determined he was guilty of misconduct for his actions.
The decision and the fact he was terminated also means Pantaleo will not receive his pension.
The GoFundMe campaign was set up by T Donegan and Daniel S in hopes to raise money to help Pantaleo, his wife and his newborn. So far, the GoFundMe has raised $97,862, more than he was making annually on his desk duty job.
Public Defender Rebecca Kavanagh tweeted that it surpassed the goal in just one day.
According to Newsweek:
"There is already massively disparate policing of minority communities," Kavanagh told Newsweek on Tuesday. "Police killings, like Eric Garner's, have created an almost complete breakdown in trust. When black and brown people then learn that a large number of police officers not only support the cop who killed him, but subscribe to overtly racist views, then whatever trust there is left is potentially totally destroyed."
Imani Henry, the lead organizer of the activist group Equality for Flatbush, noted to Patch, that Pantaleo continued to receive pay during the five years after Garners death. According to the citywide payroll database, for the 2019 fiscal year, Pantaleos' salary was $85,292.
When Twitter users found out about the fundraiser, they quickly called for activists to report the GoFundMe.
Originally, the GoFundMe had comments enabled, which had comments left by officers as well as racist comments but at the present time the comments have been disabled.
Though Pantaleo lost his pension, he will be receiving back all the money he put towards it over the 13 years he was with the department.
Pantaleo plans on appealing his termination while looking for another job.
This is not the first time that GoFundMe was used to raise money for an officer that played a roll in killing someone. In 2014, Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson received $500,000 in donations before resigning.
GoFundMe has shut down donation drives in the past from police officers who have been criminally charged which is not the case here, as Pantaleo escaped criminal charges when a grand jury found he did not violate the law.