The NYPD officer caught on video putting a Staten Island man in a chokehold moments before he died has been sued twice for alleged civil rights violations, costing taxpayers $30,000 in settlement money (so far). Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, allegedly subjected two men to "a humiliating and unlawful strip search" on a Staten Island street, where they were forced to "pull their pants and underwear down, squat and cough."

That lawsuit was settled in January for $30,000. The plaintiffs alleged that Pantaleo and other officers "unlawfully stopped" them as the drove in a car through Staten Island. According to the lawsuit, Pantaleo falsely claimed that he saw crack and heroin in the backseat of the car—everyone in the vehicle was arrested, but the charges were subsequently dismissed.

The Staten Island Advance reports that a second lawsuit, which is still winding its way though the courts, accuses Pantaleo and other officers of misrepresenting facts in a police report to substantiate charges that were eventually dismissed. The plaintiff, Rylawn Walker, alleges that Pantaleo arrested him last February for marijuana-related charges, even though he was "committing no crime at that time and was not acting in a suspicious manner."

Pantaleo has been stripped of his gun and is now on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, tells the Times that the modified duty “under these circumstances is a completely unwarranted, knee-jerk reaction for political reasons and nothing more. It is a decision by the department that effectively prejudges this case and denies the officer the very benefit of a doubt that has long been part of the social contract that allows police officers to face the risks of this difficult and complex job.”

Garner's son, 18-year-old Eric Snipes, obviously disagrees. "He should be in jail," Snipes tells the Daily News. "No protective custody, either. Put in the (general) population. I want to ask the man that did it, ‘What made you choke him like that?’ What made him put his hand around his bare neck?”