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News Wrap: NYPD fires Pantaleo, 5 years after Eric Garner’s death

In our news wrap Monday, the white police officer involved in the 2014 death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, has been fired. New York's police commissioner said Daniel Pantaleo could no longer perform his job effectively, but Garner’s daughter said the fight for justice continues. Also, attacks in eastern Afghanistan wounded at least 66 people, days after a Kabul suicide bombing killed 63.

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  • William Brangham:

    New York City has fired the white police officer involved in the choke hold death of an unarmed black man, Eric Garner, back in 2014.

    Garner's dying words, "I can't breathe," galvanized a nationwide protest movement.

    Today, New York's police commissioner said Officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an irreversible tragedy. Garner's daughter said the fight for justice is far from over.

    They spoke at separate news conferences.

  • James O’Neill:

    The unintended consequence of Mr. Garner's death must have a consequence of its own. Therefore, I agree with the deputy commissioner of trials' legal findings and recommendations. It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.

  • Emerald Garner:

    Eric Garner was killed five years ago. It took five years for the officer to be fired. I don't want another Eric Garner. I will do everything in my power to never see another Eric Garner.

  • William Brangham:

    In 2014, a grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo on state criminal charges. And last month, the U.S. Justice Department declined to charge him with federal civil rights violations.

    California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law today, prompted by police killing of minorities. The new standards allow deadly force only when it is necessary to prevent imminent death or injury to an officer or to bystanders. Law enforcement organizations backed the measure after winning concessions on the law's wording.

    Attorney General William Barr has removed Hugh Hurwitz as acting director of the federal Bureau of Prisons. That follows the suicide by Jeffrey Epstein at a federal detention center in New York. Epstein was being held on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.

    Barr gave no reason for today's move, but he had complained of serious problems at the prison.

    In Afghanistan, attacks in the eastern part of the country today wounded at least 66 people. Officials said at least 10 explosions struck the city of Jalalabad. That followed Saturday night's suicide bombing at a wedding in Kabul that killed 63 and wounded nearly 200.

    The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed revenge today in a televised address.

  • Ashraf Ghani (through translator):

    Unfortunately, the enemies of our country are very cowardly and weak that they carried out a brutal terrorist attack on a wedding party. They targeted a completely civilian place and attacked our children and women. And in a brutal way, they shed the blood of our countrymen.

  • William Brangham:

    All of this came as Afghanistan today marked 100 years of independence from Britain.

    Airstrikes in Northwestern Syria struck a Turkish military convoy today, fueling new tensions in the region. Syrian officials accused the Turks of shipping guns to a rebel town in Idlib province, which is the last rebel stronghold in Syria. Turkey said the convoy was bound for a Turkish outpost inside Syria.

    An Iranian supertanker sailed for Greece overnight, after being held for a month in Gibraltar. The British territory had detained the tanker for allegedly shipping oil to Syria, in violation of European sanctions. Iran denied any such intention. U.S. officials wanted the vessel seized again, but Iran warned of heavy consequences if that happened.

    The United States has flight-tested a medium-range cruise missile for the first time in more than 30 years. It came two weeks after the U.S. and Russia withdrew from a 1987 treaty that banned such weapons. The Pentagon says Sunday's test involved a Navy Tomahawk that carried a conventional warhead, flew 300 miles and struck its target.

    Two Democratic members of Congress condemned the Israeli government today for denying them entry. In her St. Paul, Minnesota, district, Representative Ilhan Omar urged other lawmakers to go in their place. Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib tearfully explained why she refused to visit her Palestinian grandmother, after being granted an exception.

    That exception came with strict limits on any public statements.

  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.:

    Through tears, at 3:00 in the morning, we all decided as a family that I could not go until I was a free American United States congresswoman coming there not only to see my grandmother, but to talk to Palestinian and Israeli organizations that believed that my grandmother deserved human dignity as much as anyone else does.

  • William Brangham:

    Israel says it barred official visits by Omar and Tlaib over their support for the boycott Israel movement.

    Sudan's ousted President Omar al-Bashir appeared in a court today in Khartoum to face corruption charges. A police detective testified that Bashir admitted receiving millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia over the years. Meanwhile, the country's military and pro-democracy leaders announced a new joint ruling council.

    In economic news, President Trump urged the Federal Reserve today to cut interest rates by at least 1 percentage point.

    And Wall Street rallied, as tech and financial stocks surged. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 249 points to close at 26135. The Nasdaq rose 106 points, and the S&P 500 added 35.

    And in Paris, work to repair Notre Dame Cathedral resumed for the first time in nearly a month. But this time, workers took protective measures and wore disposable clothing to prevent lead contamination. Cleanup crews also scrubbed nearby streets. The April fire at the medieval landmark melted hundreds of tons of toxic lead.

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