NYPD commissioner downplays talk of slowdown, says he's not resigning

Friday, August 30, 2019

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Despite rumblings of a police slowdown after the NYPD fired the officer involved in the death of Eric Garner, Commissioner James O'Neill cited a police-involved shooting in Queens Thursday night as an example of proactive police work that is still going on.

O'Neill made his comments two days after the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association unanimously approved no confidence resolutions calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio's removal from office and O'Neill's immediate resignation and amid a purported downturn in officer morale following the discipline handed to Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

"People are working, as you can see by this officer-involved shooting last night in the 103 Precinct," he said. "There was a description of the shooter put out, and the two cops from the 103 Precinct Anti Crime went out and did their job. As far as getting people back to work, people are working. This is, no matter what happens in this city, the NYPD moves forward. The city moves forward."

O'Neill faced a barrage of questions following Pantaleo's firing, and reporters asked Friday if it's all too much and if he justs wants t quit sometimes?

O'Neill's answer was once again a resounding no.

"Why would I walk away?" he said. "Look at where we are in New York City in 2019. Look at how much has been accomplished over the last 5, 10, 15, 30 years. Why would I walk away from this?"

O'Neill also defended his decision top punish only two officers in the Garner case, after Sergeant Kizzy Adonis was docked 20 vacation days.

"Internal Affairs Bureau conducted a thorough investigation," he said. "And they looked at every officer involved, and the determination was made there are going to be no further disciplinary charges."

The Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network, released a statement upon the news that no more officers will be charged in the case.

"This is an affront to the citizens of the city and an insult to the family of Eric Garner," he said. "Daniel Pantaleo could not have choked Eric Garner to death without the willful inaction of those officers present. That they are not being held accountable is a blatant miscarriage of justice."

Right now, the big concern is this weekend and the history of violence at the Jouvert Festival and the West Indian Day Parade. O'Neill urged cops on the street not ot let all those other distractions affect their focus.

"So while this is going on with the PBA, I just want to make sure all the police offices out there are keeping themselves safe and concentrating on what they need to concentrate on," he said.

O'Neill said his skin is a lot thicker than it was three years ago when he took the job, and while he admitted he'll someday look for a job elsewhere, he said that won't be anytime soon.


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