Mayor Bill de Blasio promised discipline “relatively soon” for the NYPD officer facing misconduct charges for putting his knee on a suspect’s neck during an East Village arrest.
“[It’s] the first case up as the disciplinary process, the trial process resumes … we obviously had a huge disruption,” de Blasio said Wednesday at his daily press conference, referring to the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s an important case.”
Officer Francisco Garcia was suspended after he was captured on camera violently arresting a man after a separate social-distancing arrest near East 9th Street and Avenue D on May 2.
Cellphone video shows Garcia confront a 33-year-old Donni Wright and, after holstering his Taser, punch him in the head before using a knee to the neck to pin the man on the ground.
Weeks later, the NYPD announced that Garcia would face misconduct charges over the arrest, but the disciplinary process has stalled during the pandemic as unions and the Civilian Complaint Review Board sparred over video interviews.
The department’s leadership eventually stepped in in early August, ordering cops to appear via Microsoft’s video-conferencing app for the police watchdog’s interviews.
The CCRB had said the tactic of unions telling officers not to appear caused delays in some 500 misconduct cases.
It was not clear if Garcia’s was one of the hundreds of stalled investigations.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office deferred the prosecution of Wright, who was charged with assaulting an officer.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea had said of the incident that there were “certainly some tactics that I was not happy with.”