Death of man in NYPD chokehold controversy ruled a homicide
The death of a 43-year-old New York City man who was placed in a chokehold by police officers has been ruled a homicide, according to the New York City Medical Examiner's Office.
Eric Garner, whose death became a national controversy after video surfaced of an officer placing him in what appeared to be a chokehold on July 17, was killed by "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police," according to Julie Bolcer, director of public affairs for the medical examiner's office.
Bolcer said Garner's asthma, obesity and cardiovascular disease were contributing factors, but the medical examiner's office has ruled the death a homicide.
Police were trying to arrest Garner for selling untaxed cigarettes when he became embroiled in an argument with officers Daniel Pantaleo and Justin D'Amico. A video of the incident shows Pantaleo place him in a chokehold and drive him to the ground, while another officer pins his head to the sidewalk as Garner repeatedly says "I can't breathe!"
Pantaleo's gun and badge were taken away, while D'Amico has been placed on desk duty.