During the opening speeches at the Democratic Debate tonight, hecklers could be heard shouting. It was tough to make out just what they were saying, but it turns out they were calling for Officer Daniel Pantaleo to be fired.During Cory Booker’s opening statement and while Bill de Blasio was talking, you could hear hecklers yell: “Fire Pantaleo!”
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Whole debate interrupted with “FIRE PANTALEO” chants aimed at de Blasio. Pantaleo is the Staten Island cop involved in Eric Garner death.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 1, 2019
They interrupted the entire debate and caused Booker to pause in his speech for a moment. Pantaleo is the police officer from Staten Island who was involved in ERic Garner’s death.De Blasio has never called for Pantaleo to be fired, The New York Times reported, despite de Blasio saying what happened to Garner was deeply personal to him.This month the Justice Department decided not to bring federal civil rights charges against Pantaleo, which is further building tensions.You can read more about Pantaleo’s background in Heavy’s story from 2014 here.
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DEM DEBATE: Protestors chant “fire Pantaleo!” while interrupting Cory Booker
Pantaleo is the NYPD officer at center of the Eric Garner case in New York City, where de Blasio is mayor
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 1, 2019
There was some debate on Twitter about what the hecklers were saying, but it finally was determined that they were speaking out against Pantaleo and Garner’s death.
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Sounds to me like protesters were chanting “Fire Pantaleo” (directed at de Blasio, to fire police officer who killed Eric Garner)
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) August 1, 2019
Shaun King called the protestors “brave” and thanked them on Twitter.This has sparked a conversation on Twitter during the debate.
Protestors are yelling “Fire Pantaleo,” and they’re right. Eric Garner was killed 5 years ago, and Pantaleo is still employed by the NYPD. Not only does he need to be held accountable, but these candidates also must now present a real vision for criminal justice reform #DemDebate
— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) August 1, 2019
I mean, hey, this is New York, where they didn’t even indict Daniel Pantaleo or commence disciplinary proceedings until five years after he killed Eric Garner. And he’s still on the force being paid more than he was then. So what should we expect? https://t.co/1UG8xtgLvl
— Rebecca J. Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) July 31, 2019
The entire debate was briefly shut down while the protestors took over.
holy shit. protesters chanting “fire Pantaleo” at Bill de Blasio just interrupted the entire #DemDebate
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) August 1, 2019
Some praised the debate for letting the protesters have their say for a moment.
Ohhhhh. coo then. That’s what’s awesome about the #DemocraticParty and #DemDebates, we embrace protest, Trump silences. https://t.co/y0l3pjqrRs
— Paul C. Giacobbe (@paulpwns805) August 1, 2019
Even though the protesters were loudest during Booker’s speech, it was directed at de Blasio.
Twitter is suggesting those protests were heckling Bill De Blasio and not Booker. Any confirmation on that? #demdebates
— Politics & Education (@PoliticsAndEd) August 1, 2019
The hecklers who were shouting were escorted out of the debate.