In a motion filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, lawyers Stuart London and Howard Sterinbach argue the caller got key facts wrong about the deadly incident, proving the person couldn’t have been an eyewitness. Pantaleo’s department trial is due to begin May 13.
Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden on Tuesday adjourned the case for further arguments.
In court papers, the lawyers say tipster “Jada Wilson,” who called the Civilian Complaint Review Board, had a man’s voice, and said Pantaleo used a nightstick to restrain Gardner, which the lawyers say is refuted by videotape of the confrontation.
“Those errors raise the question, if not overwhelmingly demonstrate, that Wilson did not witness the Garner incident,” wrote Sterinbach.
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They also say the caller, who claimed to be a friend of Garner, took “about 30 seconds to say Eric Garner” when asked for his name.
“During that mostly silent time, a woman’s voice can be heard trying to help Wilson figure out the name,” the court papers say.
The caller also stopped cooperating and skipped a meeting with investigators, according to court documents.
Lawyers for the city say an investigation can go forward even without the initial “complainant.” An NYPD judge, Rosemarie Maldonando, previously ruled against Pantaleo’s team on the same grounds.
Garner’s mother Gwen Carr blasted the efforts, calling it “a last-ditch effort to get the CCRB off the case.”
“With closure for the Garner family hanging in the balance, the trial for Officer Pantaleo must proceed as scheduled and not be further delayed by these meritless maneuvers,” CCRB ) chair Fred Davie said in a statement.