Eric Garner death: Ex-NYPD detective testifies on untaught techniques

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The departmental trial has resumed for the NYPD officer accused of killing Eric Garner by putting him a chokehold.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo's trial was delayed for two weeks to allow an expert witness to testify.

On Wednesday, a retired NYPD trainer testified that police use millions of techniques that are not taught in the academy.

"There's a million maneuvers we aren't trained that we use in the streets," retired NYPD Detective Russell Jung said on cross-examination.

Jung was the second to last witness in Pantaleo's case, which will determine whether he will lose his job or vacation days for allegedly causing Garner's death on Staten Island in July of 2014.

Pantaleo is accused of administering a banned chokehold as technique to subdue Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on the streets.

Pantaleo's defense attorney Stuart London argued that his client utilized a take down tactic called a "seat belt method" that was introduced to NYPD recruits in 2011.

Civil Complaint Review Board (CCRB) attorney Jonathan Fogel submitted documents from the NYPD training to the Deputy Commissioner Rosemarie Maldonado presiding over the hearing, that showed that the seat belt maneuver was not used when Pantaleo trained with Jung in 2006.

London asked Jung to demonstrate for Maldonado the methods NYPD recruits are taught during their six-month training to arrest a suspect -- the rare take down, the arm bar and the seat belt.

"Is there anything taught in the academy on what to do if the individual is trying to get away or isn't compliant?" London asked.

"Nothing," Jung replied.

Garner, 43, was seen on cell phone video telling Pantaleo and his partner that their constant harassment towards him was "going to end today." Moments later, Garner was taken to the ground by Pantaleo allegedly using the banned maneuver and triggered a "cascade" of events that caused his death, the city's medical examiner testified.

During a redirect questioning by London, Jung qualified his response about officers using techniques that aren't taught in the academy in the streets.

"After 24 years in the streets and so on, there's so many techniques not taught to take a subject down," Jung said. "If I wanted to kick someone in the chin, I can do that, but we are not taught that in the academy."

Maldonado will determine whether Pantaleo violated his training, in a decision that will not be made public after the hearings are over.

Before the defense rested, attorneys submitted Pantaleo's departmental interview (GO15) from December 8, 2014, instead of putting him on the stand to testify.

"The federal government still has an open investigation on my client, I have had no contact with the U.S. Attorney of their intentions," London said. "It would be malpractice to put my client on the stand...the court needs to hear my client's side and this interview should be accepted."

Civilian Complaint Review Board attorney Suzanne O'Hare objected because they won't be able to cross-examine him.

"We cannot treat respondents differently from civilian witnesses," she said. "It would open the floodgates that all respondents could submit a GO15 instead of testifying when the witness is available. We vigorously object."

Although CCRB could have called Pantaleo as their own witness, they chose not to because they believed he would become a "hostile witness" and not answer their questions.

The defense rested, and summations may begin Thursday. The CCRB is going to decide in the morning if they'll put on a rebuttal case.

A federal prosecutor sat in on the trial Wednesday, and the appearance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes at the proceeding signaled that the Department of Justice still has an interest in how Garner died.

A federal inquiry began after a state grand jury declined to charge Pantaleo in 2014. Federal authorities are facing a mid-July deadline to decide whether to charge him with civil rights violations.

Garner's dying words, "I can't breathe," became a slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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