A Staten Island man's death after NYPD officers put him in a chokehold is the subject of an investigation and renewed questions about police brutality.
"I didn't do nothing!"
Video shows Eric Garner's brush with NYPD. Head to The New York Daily News to see the exclusive cell phone footage in full — which witnesses say shows officers slamming Garners head to the sidewalk and putting him in a chokehold.
An hour after the incident Garner was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center, but the cause of death has yet to be determined. The L.A. Times reports police did not undergo resuscitation efforts at the scene.
One witness told The Times by phone: "They basically took a look at him, walked back to their truck parked a half a block away, and walked his dead body up to the ambulance." (Via the Los Angeles Times)
Garner had been arrested more than 30 times, often on accusations of selling untaxed, out-of-state cigarettes. (Via The New York Times)
Chokeholds were banned 20 years ago by the NYPD in the wake of one of the most well-known allegations of police brutality in New York City history.
In an eerily similar case, Officer Francis Livoti was convicted by a federal jury for violating the civil rights of Anthony Baez. Baez, who also had asthma, died after being put in a chokehold. (Via U.S. Department of Justice)
Three years after the incident the NYPD fired Livoti and cut his pension. The event caused widespread distrust of police by residents of the Bronx who felt Livoti got away with murder.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board has 233 allegations on record of police using chokeholds in 2013 alone. But this constitutes only 4.4 percent of excessive-force complaints, putting the total at a little less than 6,000. (Via The New York Times)
Mayor Bill de Blasio postponed his vacation to Italy to make a statement about the incident.
"This is a terrrible tragedy that occurred yesterday, a terrible tragedy that no family should have to experience." (Via WABC)
Mayor Bill de Blasio and police Commissioner Bill Bratton have publicly promised a full investigation but said they don't see chokeholds as a widespread problem. Two of the officers in the incident have been placed on administrative duty but have been allowed to keep their guns. (Via WCBS)