- NYC reached a settlement of $5.9 million dollars with the family of Eric Garner after he was fatally taken down by Staten Island police last year.
- The 43-year-old African American male was stopped selling untaxed cigarettes.
- A bystander captures the entire incident on video (see below).
- Despite being unarmed, he was put into a chokehold that caused the asthmatic Garner’s death.
- Staten Island grand jury chose not to indict the officer who took him down, which inspired protests around the country.
A cell phone video captured the entire incident of Eric Garner’s death. On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, a 43 year old African American male, was stopped in Staten Island by the NYPD for selling untaxed cigarettes.
He was unarmed, but ended up being wrangled to the ground by Officer Daniel Panteleo, a Caucasian male. Officer Panteleo restrained the 350-pound man by putting him in a choke hold, which is an illegal use of force by the NYPD. Garner’s last words were ignored. He screamed and pleaded “I can’t breathe!” 11 times, and nothing was done.
Warning: the video is difficult to watch and contains distressing images.
The chokehold restricted his breathing for so long that he eventually died. The coroner established that the chokehold as the cause of death and declared it a homicide.
The Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Officer Panteleo for the chokehold, which spurred anti-police protests all over the country.
In October 2014, the family filed a $75 million dollar claim against the city for wrongful death.
Not everyone was thrilled with the settlement.
The outspoken head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Ed Mullins, shared his thoughts on Monday night with the New York Post:
“In my view, the city has chosen to abandon its fiscal responsibility to all of its citizens and genuflect to the select few who curry favor with the city.”
Scott Stringer, the New York City Comptroller, said:
“We are all familiar with the events that led to the death of Eric Garner and the extraordinary impact his passing has had on our City and our nation….it forced us to examine the state of race relations, and the relationship between our police force and the people they serve.”