Community outraged after Staten Island man dies during arrest

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CITY HALL, NYC (PIX11) -- In a case the mayor calls "troubling," the city has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a deadly police scuffle with a Staten Island man.

In particular, the mayor and police commissioner said, they are trying to determine if a chokehold was used in Thursday's incident with Eric Garner, a father of six who died shortly thereafter. The NYPD prohibits chokeholds.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called the case "a tragedy for all involved" and Mayor Bill de Blasio assured "all New Yorkers, there will be a full and thorough investigation."

The investigation will also determine if officers were responding appropriately to the situation. The commissioner said the two officers involved have been assigned desk duty during the investigation.

Many see a widely-circulated video of the altercation as evidence that police overreacted, because Garner's original offense had been what Bratton called a "seemingly minor, quality of life offense" -- selling untaxed cigarettes or loosies.

However, de Blasio urged that "it's too early to jump to conclusions."

He also insisted that overall, "relationships between police and community are improving."

On Staten Island Thursday, NYPD officers initially responded to a complaint that individual, untaxed cigarettes were being sold.

The video shows the officers questioning  Garner. Quickly, the argument escalated until an officer holds Garner in an apparent chokehold. Other officers joined in to restrain him.

Garner exclaimed, "I can't breathe!" several times, but officers did not let him go.

 

15 comments

  • Nicole

    Wow did it take all of that New York City police officers are sick . How many more have to die in the hands of nypd

  • Chrissy

    This is SO HORRIBLE! This poor man needless death!! ALL these officers should be charges with MURDER!! They have NO RIGHT to kill innocent people!! NYPD is OUT OF CONTROL!!

  • Nakiya kimbrough

    This is a crazy insadent this man did nothing for the police to do this this man had very bad asthma n the police didn’t listen to him the foul NYPD K FUCK POLICE D.A but lost but never forgotten

    • lisa

      I WAS AT THE MEMORIAL TODAY.MI CUZIN & I.SHE WAS SO UPSET.SHE WORKED WITH ERIC.HER EXACT WORDS WERE.”ERIC WAS A GENTLE & SOFT SPOKEN MAN”HE NEVA HURT NOBODY”

  • Joseph Kulisics

    The video is just awful. At first blush, a lot of people are going to focus on the race of the victim—I can understand; black Americans seem to bear the brunt of the consequences of law enforcement policy, and they must naturally feel like the policy is directed against them—but the real problem is that we have insane policing policies. Why do we as Americans tolerate this kind of policing? I thought the same when the Indian diplomat was strip-searched and jailed over a non-violent charge, failure to pay the legally required minimum wage.

    The police need a more reasonable protocol for their interactions with the public, a protocol that doesn’t treat every suspect like an animal. I would propose a few things.

    1. The police should generally not take a person into custody unless the person allegedly committed a criminal act posing a grave risk of harm to members of the community or the person is wanted for failure to appear in court to answer a criminal charge. For example, burglary poses a grave danger to the occupants of a burglarized home, so the police need to take the person into custody.

    2. When the police take a person into custody, they should not generally handcuff someone unless the person meets certain criteria like concealing a weapon while being taken into custody, acting violently against the police or appearing generally agitated in the course of an otherwise routine arrest, or being accused of a plainly serious, violent crime like attempted murder.

    3. After being arrested, a person should not generally be subjected to humiliating treatment without probable cause to believe that the treatment is necessary. Why do many jurisdictions strip-search all people being arrested? Do the police really need to strip-search drunk drivers or shoplifters? Strip searching should be reserved for people who might reasonably be suspected of concealing drugs or weapons, for example, people arrested on a drug charge or people who were recently in prison.

    Even if the guy in the video did exactly what the police claimed, they shouldn’t have arrested him. They should have just issued him a desk appearance ticket and let him go. Imagine how much more civil our culture would be if police policies at least tried to be proportional to actual threats rather than just treating every arrested person like a murderous, drug-smuggling thug.

  • No new world order

    Dunkin donetsk, perverted spy drones, evil kkk, sad, pathetic jealous computer surveillance, hitlery the insane human eating hermaphrodite to blame for neighborhood destructions

  • Helecia

    All these protest are good for nothing! People was right there and watched him die! Protest would have been to help him live! That was pure murder covered up by a badge. Then when cops get killed they want a moment of silence and recognition. Not all cops are bad, but for the cop that performed that chokehold and killed him he need the Death Penalty! Instead he is on desk duty? Nah protest would be to put that cop in a chokehold and let him see how it feel to beg for air and take your last breath on the ground like an animal. Nothing would settle this unless he get the same treatment! It couldn’t been my family! I’m so tired of these marches giving people more news exposure like al sharp ton! You see what happen in Trayvon Martin case Nothing! The power is in the people and the people need to exterminate this POS off the earth! His kids and grandchildren has to see their father and grandfather take his last breath via social media!

  • Bill Mckechnie

    Com missioner Bratton a headlock is not a chock hold. When the suspect was on the ground their was no choke hold being used. Stop pandering PLEASE!

  • nando

    Moral of the story if your going to commit a crime you either not resist or be physically fit..;)

  • Bill Mckechnie

    Mr Kulisics watches too much television. trying going out there for a day in that uniform./ Put your life on the line and see if you would still believe. For your information every person is not treated like an animal. Most of the time the treatment used in making arrests depends on the demeanor of the individual being arrested. You should also know that desk appearance tickets are not issued in the field. it’s still an arrest the person is just not detained for court.

  • Center Stage

    “THE BLUEPRINT to STOP POLICE BRUTALITY- A to Z” (((THIS STOPS TODAY)))…and will only happen if THE PEOPLE —->DEMAND<—- a change must come.

    a.) Vote for politicians willing to put laws on the books that will protect the people.

    b.) Go to your city council meetings and tell them about cases of abuse of force from your local police department

    c.) Write the MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL and CITY MANAGER about cases of police abuse

    d.) Demand a NEW police chief if the one you have refuses to fire bad officers

    e.) videotape your encounters with police

    f.) ALWAYS file complaints with internal affairs on abusive police officers – make certain there is a paper trail on bad cops

    g.) Document everything with date, time, witnesses, officer's name, officer's badge #, officer's squad car # (Who, What, When, Where and How)

    h.) make multiple copies of everything – keep additional copies with friend or relative

    i.) Do rallies

    j.) Do petitions

    k.) File lawsuits against cases of police abuse

    l.) Ask your pastors to get involved

    m.) Make certain to NEVER resist arrest

    n.) Support leaders on the front line…

    o.) Start organizations to combat police brutality –

    p.) DEMAND all officers wear cameras

    q.) DEMAND dash cam videos be activated on all police stops

    r.) DEMAND all officers receive re-TRAINING on diversity

    s.) DEMAND all officers receive re-TRAINING on USE OF FORCE

    t.) DEMAND your police chiefs come out into the communities and listen to the citizen's concerns about issues with their officers

    u.) DEMAND a THREE STRIKES YOU'RE OUT on bad officers

    v.) DEMAND police associations stop helping bad apples get their jobs back when their records support firing as the best option

    w.) DEMAND police associations hold officers to a higher standard

    x.) DEMAND officers submit police reports on incidents involving use of force within 24 hours

    y.) DEMAND officers submit police reports of incidents involving deadly force within 24 hours

    z.) DEMAND officers receive random drug and psychological evaluations.

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