Exclusive–Bernie Kerik: NYC Cops Demoralized, ‘Afraid’ to Do Their Jobs After Firing of Officer in Eric Garner Case

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: NYPD officers patrol during a nationwide protest against Trump
Kena Betancur/Getty

New York City police officers are demoralized after the city’s termination of Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, said former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik in a Monday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

“I’m disappointed in the decision,” stated Kerik. “It’s not the decision I would have made. I’m disturbed, more so, by the commissioner’s comments surrounding his decision. If it was him, and he was in that position, he may have made a similar mistake. He would have told Garner, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t resist arrest.'”


Kerik added, “This was a lawful arrest. How much backup do you need? You had three or four cops there. You need more than three or four cops to make one arrest? I don’t think so.”

Kerik rejected characterizations of the maneuver used by Pantaleo on Garner as a “chokehold.”

“As somebody that has been involved in the martial arts and self-defense since I was 13 years old — I have several degrees, black belt degrees, in various martial arts — I find it appalling that people are looking at this saying, ‘It’s a chokehold,'” determined Kerik.

Kerik continued, “It was a takedown. You had three [or[ four cops that were trying to place handcuffs on a guy that was resisting who happened to be 360 to 380 pounds. These cops were armed.”

Kerik explained, “There’s two things you don’t want when you’re taking down a guy like this. One, you don’t want a guy like this to overpower you and grab your gun. Secondly, they’re trying to make this arrest in front of a huge plate glass window that’s extremely dangerous. So I understand what they were trying to do.”

“I think it’s tragic that it happened,” Kerik remarked. “I’m positive if Garner had complied with the arresting officers, he would not hot have died at the scene. As tragic as it is, it was an accident.”

“There was no intent on [Daniel Pantaleo’s] part to kill this guy,” Kerik said. “He was effecting a lawful arrest of a person that was resting.It’s a tragic accident. That’s what it was, and he should not have been fired.”

Kerik went on, “At the most, if it was me, and I wanted to send a message, I would have called Pantaleo in with the union and said, ‘Listen, I think there has to be some form of accountability. I don’t think he should be terminated, but I think it’s time for you to retire.'”

Kerik continued, “Let him retire. Let him move on with his life. That’s not what [New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill] did. That’s not what Mayor de Blasio did. You know what they did? They destroyed this kid’s life. They destroyed his entire life. He has a newborn child. They destroyed his life for doing his job, and I think it’s wrong.”

The termination of Pantaleo, despite Pantaleo’s lawful conduct, will harm morale among New York City’s law enforcement, estimated Kerik.

“You know what’s frightening today?” asked Kerik. “You know what cops are going to do now? They’re not going to effect that arrest. They’re going to wait. They’re going to call for a sergeant. They’re going to call for emergency service. They’re going to call for all the backup in the world because they now know they’re not going to be supported, and they’re not going to be indemnified by the mayor of the City of New York.”

Kerik warned, “There is nothing more frightening than a cop doing his job and being afraid to do that job because he doesn’t have the support of the city, of the mayor, of the police department. There is nothing worse, and that’s going to have a negative impact on this city.”

De Blasio is an “anti-cop” mayor, assessed Kerik, describing the broader’s left’s pursuit of centralized power and control.

“The left is breaking away from the United States of America,” Kerik concluded. “They want the socialist states of America. That’s what they want. They want to infuse socialism. They want to infuse communism. They want to disarm the American people. Now they want to federalize our local and state police? That insane, and I’m totally against it.”

Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.