Until shortly before the firing, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is still out shaking hands in Iowa to further his Quixotic campaign for the 2020 nomination, hadn't indicated whether he would follow a Department judge's recommendation that Pantaleo be fired for being "untruthful" during the internal investigation into his actions.
Pantaleo was called to the scene on that fateful day in July 2014 about a complaint about a man - Garner - who was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes near a bodega on Staten Island. Garner had been arrested for the crime many times before.
But when Pantaleo and his partner approached Garner that day, the suspect said he was "tired" of the police harassment, and resisted arrest. Ultimately, as video showed, Pantaleo first tried to restrain Garner, who, at 6'3 and 350, was much larger than Pantaleo, with what's called a "seat belt hold".
Pantaleo's attorney later argued that his client's arm slipped during the process of restraining Garner into the infamous "chokehold" that became the focus of the investigation.