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Spencer Platt

Daniel Pantaleo, Cop Involved In Eric Garner's Death, Faces Trial Five Years Later

It's been five years since Eric Garner yelled "I can't breathe" 11 times before dying on a concrete sidewalk outside of a Staten Island beauty supply store. Now, the officer involved will learn whether or not he will remain on the force.

According to reports, Daniel Pantaleo, now 33-years-old, faces charges of reckless use of a chokehold and intentional restriction of breathing. Stuart London, the police union lawyer representing Pantaleo, says the move administered on Garner wasn't a chokehold, but a technique taught at the police academy known as the seatbelt. London will also argue that the seatbelt maneuver isn't what caused Garner's death, but instead, his own poor health.

"Mr. Garner died from being morbidly obese," London said. "He was a ticking time bomb and set these facts in motion by resisting arrest."

The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide, something London will try to assert as false.

“Those who have been able to not come to a rushed judgment, but have looked at the video in explicit detail, see Pantaleo’s intent and objective was to take him down pursuant to how he was taught by NYPD, control him when they got on the ground, and then have him cuffed,” Mr. London said in an interview with the New York Times. “There was never any intent for him to exert pressure on his neck and choke him out the way the case has been portrayed.”

Following Garner's death, the city paid a $5.9 million settlement to Garner's surviving family member. However, Pantaleo still hadn't gone to trial. Greater urgency was taken when Garner's daughter, Erica, died in 2017. The viral video of Garner being taken down by police officers was filmed by his friend, Ramsey Orta. He will be one of the 20 witnesses called during the trial.

According to the New York Times, will have to answer two questions: Was the technique used on Garner a chokehold? and if so was Pantaleo justified in using the method?

“It was at least a dozen more who just did nothing, or either they pounced on him, they choked him, they filed false reports,” Mr. Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said. “It’s about all of those officers who committed an injustice that day and they all need to stand accountable.”

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Rogelio V. Solis

Mississippi Mayor Willing To Pay Drug Dealers And Gang Members To Leave

A Mississippi mayor is asking local philanthropists and business owners to contribute to a moving fund. Who's moving, you ask? Well if Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy gets his way, it will be the city's drug dealers, gang members and anyone who wants to be a criminal.

“They may be in the wrong environment,” Espy told reporters at Clarksdale City Hall. “So, what I’m saying as the mayor today, I will put money on the line to assist those type of people to move out of the city."

The amount of money is reportedly $10,000.

Espy was adamant about his desire to divorce the city of criminals. "But make no mistake about it, we are asking those three groups of people; if you are just simply a criminal, if you are a gang member or a drug dealer, move out of this city now.”

The new initiative came following a review of the city's crime statistics. However, Clarksdale Police Chief Sandra Williams said there were only 12 homicides in 2018.

Espy said the city needs to be safe as the summer is approaching and children will play outside.

“We want everyone in the city of Clarksdale to live safe, to be safe. We do not want to see a child dead in the streets,” Espy said. “We do not want to see an innocent bystander getting shot."

Local Rev. John Givins is working with the police and mayor to reduce crime, however, he's asking for anyone who may want to be a criminal to stay in the area.

“We encouraged [potential criminals] to stay in our city and become great citizens. We will also be putting an etiquette class in place for these people. And we have skill sets to prepare them for jobs coming to the city of Clarksdale.”

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NYPD

Justice For Junior: Testifying Witness Says Hit Has Been Placed On His Life

Kevin Alvarez, one of several Trinitarios gang members responsible for the barbarous June 2018 murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, was indicted on murder charges.

However, after striking a deal with the prosecution, which involves flipping on his co-conspirators, Alvarez pled guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy and faces 25 years in prison. According to the 20-year-old, a death sentence has been placed on him for "doing something bad" like snitching to cops.

“They go out and look for you in groups until they find you and kill you,” he said. Alvarez said for "doing something bad

In a packed courtroom, Monday (May 21) he nervously identified the five others responsible for the vicious stabbing death of the Bronx teen. Alvarez said he drove one of the four cars to chase Junior and revealed the 15-year-old tried to run into nearby St. Barnabas Hospital for help, but blocked him, which is why Junior then ran into a bodega.

Alvarez said he assumed Junior was in another gang and involved in a rival shooting.

He then explained that he was the one who pushed the bodega door open, helped to drag Junior out and repeatedly punched and kicked Junior in the head while he was down. Junior tried to tell him he wasn't the person they were looking for, but Alvarez and co. didn't listen.

Video of Junior’s murder played again in court in slow motion. Junior’s mom with their heads between her knees, cried quietly throughout. #JusticeForJunior pic.twitter.com/APqZ2k8Odh

— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) May 21, 2019

The prosecution then played the heartwrenching footage from the bodega. Reportedly, Junior's mother turned away and kept her head between her knees crying.

If all members of the Trinitarios gang are convicted, they face life in prison.

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News Channel 8

Florida Teacher Arrested For Carrying Knives And Loaded Guns In Classrooms

A fourth-grade teacher at Starkey Elementary School was arrested Monday (May 20) after authorities found knives, a 9mn Glock with seven rounds of ammunition and other weapons.

According to reports, the 49-year-old had the weapons, including a six-inch fighting knife and a two-inch finger knife, in classrooms with students.

Reportedly, Starkey Elementary School principal saw Betty Soto behaving suspiciously as she carried the backpack with her wherever she went.

Law enforcement arrived on campus after being notified by the principal. They interviewed Soto and found the weapons. The teacher reportedly was let out on bond at 9 PM Monday night and when asked by reporters why she brought the weapons to school she attributed it to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Ask Desantis," she answered. "Ask your governor."

In early May, the Republican governor signed a bill that will allow teachers to carry guns inside a classroom. The measure was a reported response to the Parkland High School shooting.

Soto's Facebook page will be investigated as part of the overall investigation due to a post that was shared. "Are you surprised I'm a revolutionary? You should have seen it coming. Hate that I was on my way to the plantation, but I had to free some minds."

Erica Kennedy, a mother of two at Starkey Elementary, described Soto's behavior as "militant" and "suspicious."

"She seemed very abrupt, the way she was speaking. I almost felt like she was talking to these kids like she was their parent, you know, just really, a little overboard. So, it made me kind of, something kind of went up in the back of my hair like, hmmm," Kennedy explained.

Soto reportedly will not be returning to Starkey Elementary School.

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