NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a man suffered a heart attack and died as officers tried to arrest him on suspicion of illegally selling cigarettes on Staten Island.
They say 43-year-old Eric Garner was pronounced dead at a hospital after officers tried to apprehend him about 4:45 p.m., Thursday.
Video obtained by PIX11 News shows police on top of Garner on the ground and the suspect can be heard repeating, "I can't breathe." Click here to watch the footage from the New York Daily News.
Police say the officers observed Garner selling untaxed cigarettes on Bay Street, blocks away from the 120th precinct. They say he'd been previously arrested for the same offense.
Police said an investigation is ongoing and that the medical examiner's officer will determine the cause of death.
They didn't say whether Garner was handcuffed or if there was a struggle during the arrest. They say Garner weighed 350 pounds at his last arrest in May.
Garner is survived by six children and several grandchildren.