Daniel Pantaleo had been on desk duty since he was seen in widely viewed cellphone videos using a banned chokehold on Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk during an attempted arrest.
Police believed Garner was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
Garner's repeated dying cries of "I can't breathe!" became a rallying cry for the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement, which protests police brutality around the country.
His death, and the slow-moving investigations that followed, have generated some of the sharpest criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio during his tenure and have since spilled over into his presidential campaign.
Rosemarie Maldonado, a deputy police commissioner who oversees disciplinary hearings, reached her verdict after serving as the judge in Pantaleo's disciplinary trial earlier this year.
The New York City Police department immediately suspended the officer following Friday's verdict.
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