Presidential candidate and current mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, sat down for an interview where he tackled the outrage from the public over the long-overdue firing of Eric Garner's killer, Daniel Pantaleo.
According to de Blasio, he has no regrets over how he handled the legal proceedings of Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo was eventually fired from the department last month.
The decision came more than five years after the death of Garner was captured on cell phone video, and months after Deputy Commissioner of Trials Judge Rosemarie Maldonado recommended to Police Commissioner James O'Neill that Pantaleo be removed from the force.
He explained Pantaleo could not be fired sooner:
"I don't blame anyone, given the intense, honest emotions and beliefs where people would say, 'Just fire the guy from day one.' First of all, I remind everyone we all believe in due process. If the show was ever on the other foot, we'd want due process," he told The Root.
"Second, there is state law that stipulates that only the police commissioner can make that decision. Third, we have the U.S. Department of Justice telling us don't do anything. They were going to potentially bring higher charges and they told us not to act. All of that is hard for everyday people to understand. But, in the end, I am working from a place of conscience, saying, 'What's the best thing for this city and ultimately for this country as well?' To have a fair and just process that lead to an outcome where there was accountability and now we have to move on to the much bigger work of making sure it doesn't happen again.
"As president, I would draw on that experience because a lot of the other folks who are running, again, very good people, they've never dealt with anything like this. A lot of people running have never had to deal with the complexity of a situation like this and trying to make change in an often contentious atmosphere."