Eric Garner’s chokehold death ruled a homicide: medical examiner

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NEW YORK (PIX11/AP) - The New York City medical examiner has ruled that the chokehold of a police officer on a New York City man last month caused his death.

Medical examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Friday that Eric Garner's July 17 death has been ruled a homicide.

RELATED: NYPD training to be reviewed after death of Eric Garner

Bolcer says his death was caused by "Compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." She says asthma and heart disease were contributing factors.

Garner's videotaped confrontation with police has caused widespread outcry, and Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department is "closely monitoring" the investigation into his death.

RELATED: Basketball player in ‘RIP Eric Garner’ t-shirt dunks over NYPD car

A police report obtained by PIX11 about Eric Garner’s deadly arrest outlines something very different from what videos show.

The police report compiled by a commanding officer in the investigation unit on Staten Island describes how Eric Garner resisted arrest. Officers Pantaleo and Justin D’Amico also claim they had to get control of Garner, but never mentioned the use of a chokehold.

This is a developing story; refresh for updates.


  • Jcb

    officer Daniel Pantaleo has committed multiple NYS felonies in his use of excessive force. The Staten Island D.A. must file criminal charges!

    1) The NYPD prohibits choke hold.

    Section 203-11 of the NYPD Patrol Guide states:
    “Members of the New York City Police Department will NOT use choke holds. A choke hold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.”

    2) By applying the prohibited hold, Officer Pantaleo has committed the crime of Strangulation in the 1st degree.

    NYS Penal Law:
    § 121.13 Strangulation in the first degree.
    A person is guilty of strangulation in the first degree when he or she
    commits the crime of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood
    circulation, as defined in section 121.11 of this article, and thereby
    causes serious physical injury to such other person.
    Strangulation in the first degree is a class C felony.

    3) Eric Garner’s death is a direct result of Officer Pantaleo’s illegal and criminal choke hold. Being a direct result, Pantaleo has committed the crimes of Manslaughter 2nd °, and Criminally negligent homicide.

    NYS Penal Law:
    § 125.15 Manslaughter in the second degree.
    A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when:
    1. He recklessly causes the death of another person.
    Manslaughter in the second degree is a class C felony.

    NYS Penal Law:
    § 125.10 Criminally negligent homicide.
    A person is guilty of criminally negligent homicide when, with
    criminal negligence, he causes the death of another person.
    Criminally negligent homicide is a class E felony.


    NYS Penal Law Definitions:
    § 15.05 (3) “recklessly”.
    A person acts recklessly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect thereto.

    § 15.05 (4) “Criminal Negligence”.
    A person acts with criminal negligence with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

    The reason I didn’t cite murder in the 1st° or 2nd° under NYS Penal Laws is because the language used within wouldn’t support a murder conviction.

    For example if this officer was charged with murder 1 or 2 there would have to be proof of “intent” (amongst other listed acts) to kill The victim. So if the officer’s only charge was murder 1 or 2 under NYS Law I believe he would be found not guilty due to the language use in each of the subdivisions.

    Please refer to NYS Penal Laws § 125.25 and § 125.27 language.

  • Michael Leon Burts Sr

    If the NYPD and DA’s office file murder charges and other charges against the responding officers, it will be a miracle and not have an all white jury to acquit them if charges are filed so we don’t get the usual status quote of it was an accident or no formal charges being brought against the officer especially since homicide was listed as cause of death from coroner.

    • Ryan

      Why do you have to bring race into this? Race has no factor in this. Racism only exists because people keep making the distinction between white and black.

      • gen0music

        Because judges keep making that distinction too, and if you look at the facts, a black man was killed by a white cop.

      • Michael Leon Burts Sr.

        Ryan. It would seem that either you are in denial, nieve, or blind to the common practice of NYPD and convictions of white officers involved with any type of felony charge and the victim was a person of colour. Let me enlighten you on a few stats:

        Conviction of white police officers involved or charged with a felony against a person of colour: Chance of conviction 9%. Tactic most commonly used: All white jury. If none in NYC, they move it to a county that is at least 90% white so they will be guaranteed an all white jury. History dictates that all white juries seldom convict white officers as a thought that they do no wrong.

        Conviction of coloured police officer in the same match: 78% and with the same formentioned jury layout. So please for your own thought research it for yourself and u will find same or worse stats. Also, note the coloured ratio is based on coloured officers dealing with white defendants or involvements.

        Conviction of coloured officers when defendants, arrestees, or victims are people of colour is 29% because of the “blue code” amongst police officers as always as officers were the victim and not the other way around.

        The mistrust of people of colour and the NYPD didn’t just develop yesterday. The constant lies, racial profiling, misconduct, false arrests and convictions, etc that has been placed on the predominantly Black and Hispanic victims of the actions have warranted the distrust of the blue uniform dating back to the early 70’s and only really started coming out with the truth as been since the invention of video recording on mobiles and people recording police actions.

        In this s case alone the NYPD has lied and omitted facts that they thought they would get away with until videos popped up and the coroner’s report body slammed the officers for enacting a process that was banned some 15 to 20 years ago after a record year of deaths at the hands of NYPD and it being found that if it wasn’t a shooting, the now illegal chokehold was engaged, with the contributing factors of the officers weight and pressure on his chest.

        So please, before you bark about why colour always have to come into play, ask yourself, who started the process that colour or race has to come into play.

    • Michael Burts Sr.

      Jose, obviously you have never been on the receiving end on such behaviour. The race card comes out because it is always about race with the NYPD. Particularly how white officers deal with black or Hispanic detainees. Why don’t you hear too much of NYPD killing whites detainees too much. It’s because of white presumption of blacks. I have MSCE, and soon completing my doctorate. I was in a Brooks Brothers suit, which is proper attire when I visit persons in their home over contracts. I was detained by NYPD in Easthampton because the said I didn’t belong there and didn’t fit. I had to pull out all sorts of I.D. and I was driving an E type Jaguar in front of my clients home so if anything, I should have fit. But of course they tried to charge me with trespassing. Where was I trespassing at? And yes, for me alone there was 4 cruisers and 9 officers. So u tell me, Should the race card have come into play? Was all of that warranted? Just because someone white saw me get out of a car in front of a white residence. And their cars was in their car port. So they were home. 29 minutes of crap just for my client to call me to cancel contract because of a no show when I had to make them aware I was being detained by police in front of their home. Yes, they flipped out when they learned what was going on. So yes, the race card always comes into play because how things are dealt with and handled with NYPD is always at the forefront of how one is dealt with is due to race. Did I mention guns were drawn on me when they approached my car? So yes always pull the race card because almost always guaranteed the actions will be based exactly on that. . . And that is too bad.

  • M

    Just like every other cop, he will get away with it! A slap on the wrist. I don’t understand this, Newsday says he has been put on modified duty. If it were me or any other civilian we would be sitting in jail right now waiting on a murder charge for choking someone to death. You want to kill someone and not get into trouble for it, or be able to bully and push people around and not get in trouble…become a cop. You want to rob people of the hard earned money just to make your wallet fatter and not get into any trouble for it…become a politician. They are all crooked.

  • Thaddeus

    Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same subjects you discuss and would
    love to have you share some stories/information. I know my
    viewers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free
    to send me an e mail.

  • MC

    Feel sorry for Mr. Garner’s death and his family, the officer did not mean to choke him to death but because he is shorter and smaller than Mr Garner. That was how the choke-hold was hindered on the major airway of his neck.
    On top of this for high blood pressure and heart disease person cannot take sudden attack “act” for sure.

  • Open Your Eyez

    Kill these cops and any other cops that don’t follow the law. They better shape up because when shit hits the fan they’re the first people to be targeted.

  • V for Vendetta

    Juiced up pigs. Land of the free is a joke. This man was not violent and not resisting. Are cops above talking? They immediately resort to attacking him from behind. These pigs should fry!

    • Kathy Anoia

      and foremost CHOKE HOLD is ILLEGAL…….got it that means against the law…and the cop used it HE IS GUILTY of MURDER….he is a KILLED Eric Garner….Police are not above the LAW…..NYPD and LAPD and all officers….they feel above the LAW….it is time to fight back….NO JUSTICE….NO PEACE….TRAVON MARTIN was murdered…ERIC GARNER was MRUDERED…….anyone who can not see this is BLIND….you better WAKE UP…they changed so many laws after 911….we are NOT home of the FREE……we are not FREE at allllllll…………NO JUSTICE……NO PEACE…..ya’ll better RECGONIZE…………………………….JCB thank you for the info……ryan and mc you best to gain some knowledge cause you don’t no much….leave your comments out cause you just add fuel to the fire you are WRONG!!!!!!!!!!

      • Shihalood

        That is the most ignorant rant I have seen on here yet. Way to go bringing in Travon Martin into a completely unrelated case.

  • Bruce King

    Are you ok that police can use lethal force, kill you and NOT REVIVE YOU or a loved one for resisting arrest?

    This is a symptom of a bigger problem. This is not a police office issue. This is not directly a training issue. This is a leadership issue. The choke isn’t the problem – the fact the cops used it and DIDN’T REVIVE HIM when it killed him – is a huge problem.

    When you’ve had hundreds of complaints that a banned lethal choke is being used on citizens by people paid to protect them, and it is not immediately corrected – that a leadership problem.

    I think the Police Commissioner and Mayor should resign their positions. Eric’s children will forever remember their father as the main choked to death and not revived by people paid to protect him.

    1) Ask for their resignation
    2) Do not visit or support the city of new york or its products or services until they do
    3) Contact your congressman about what federal agency is responsible for guaranteeing the police do their job

    The police have helped me and others many many times. In this case, leadership has failed. We are seeing a symptom of a culture that makes it ok and routine to kill people. For real change to take effect, serious consequences must occur.

    Put those officers in jail, and the problem continues. Fix the “training problem”, and the problem will continue.

    Hold leadership accountable today and this problem ends overnight.

Comments are closed.