Funeral today for father who died in police custody

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) – The funeral for a New York father who died while in police custody is expected to draw hundreds of family members, friends, supports and community leaders to a Brooklyn church Wednesday.

A father of a five and husband who had been diagnosed with asthma and diabetes, Eric Garner died after a police officer placed him in an apparent chokehold while arresting him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes outside a Staten Island shop.

Witness video shows the 43-year-old Garner repeatedly telling officers he cannot breathe. Minutes later, he was declared dead.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was caught on camera allegedly using the prohibited maneuver, and another officer have been placed on modified assignment. Four EMS workers who responded to the scene have been suspended without pay.

Garner’s death sparked citywide outrage over the use of banned practices and how police treat suspects experiencing a medical emergency while in custody.

It also called into question Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s “Broken Windows” tactic, a theory that believes cracking down on petty offenses will discourage more serious crime.

Bratton has promised a “top to bottom” review of how NYPD officers are trained and says he anticipates “every member” of the department will be retrained in the coming weeks, months and years.

A viewing for Garner is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and continue until 6:45 p.m. His funeral ceremony will begin at 7:15 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn.

Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to speak at the funeral, which Garner’s cousin will officiate.

Sharpton’s National Action Network is paying for Garner’s funeral.