Police union president says Eric Garner was not put in chokehold

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MANHATTAN (PIX11) — The president of the union representing New York City police officers says Eric Garner was not placed in a chokehold.

The explosive charge was made at a news conference Tuesday at PBA headquarters in lower Manhattan.

“Look at the video in real time not frame by frame. The interaction of bringing this person down to the ground, which was necessary to bring him under arrest, was seconds. When you look at it frame-by-frame, some would say it was a long period of time and it was a chokehold. He was a big man that had to be brought to the ground to be placed under arrest by shorter police officers. Sometimes the use of force is necessary, but it’s never pretty to watch,” Lynch said.

A report by the New York City Medical Examiner released last week ruled that the death was a homicide and listed one of the causes of Garner’s death as a chokehold. PBA President Patrick Lynch called the ME’s report “political.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the report today saying, “I have a lot of respect for the Medical Examiner’s Office in New York City. I think it’s the gold standard in this country for the work they do, the science they use to come up with their answers, and I think that should be respected in and of itself.”

The PBA president and the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association president criticized the mayor and the police commissioner’s handling of the entire situation.

“There’s a lack of respect for law enforcement resulting from the slanderous, insulting and unjust manner in which police officers are being portrayed by race-baiters, politicians, pundits and even our elected officials,” said Lynch.

The union presidents also lashed out at the Rev. Al Sharpton.

“Al Sharpton is not a credible individual. He never has been, yet he’s all over the media. He gets front page,” said SBA President Edward Mullins.

“I do not believe he has credibility. I believe he has an opinion and we will protect his right to give that opinion. But he doesn’t have the right to make up facts. He shouldn’t have the right to sit at the lead table at City Hall and stir up the streets and then it becomes dangerous for police officers,” said Lynch.

Sharpton released a statement Tuesday afternoon in response to the news conference.

“It is time to have a mature conversation about policing rather than immature name calling and childish attempts to scapegoat. Again, we will continue to pursue a fair federal investigation to determine where the facts lie,” Sharpton said.



  • will

    The boss is a fucking racist and should be fired how could he say that this man was not killing what Would he be saying g if it was a family member of his family he’s a piece of shit that’s what he is

  • Steve

    not a choke I would like to know what video was he watching. The cop didnt have to use a strangling hold. Clearly the other cops had the situation under control. He overreacted and now a man is dead.
    The cops must realize that some of their officers should not be on the force.

  • NYPD Is racist

    The NYPD are racist and don’t care. This might boil down to a bloody riot if the police don’t start to control their force. I think it’s time we start fighting back personally, you can see how corrupt these guys are.

    • Joe


      • Intern

        Well Joe I feel you are taking all of this to personal.. He had the right to resist because he did not do anything. Cops always over pushing their boundaries especially with black people mainly with black people. And justice will be served one way or another. White people think they have the right to do anything that want well that is soon going to change. So many successful African Americans are moving on up the totem pole and white people will be so surprised. Everyone always try to depend white on black deaths. Justice will be served. God got us.

      • Mike

        The choke hold is more than excessive, it’s ILLEGAL!!! A cop is BREAKING THE LAW!!! When they use it. Cops are trained in the academy on how to make an arrest. He didn’t contribute to his own death, that cop did

      • Joe

        @ Intern this has nothing to do with black and white. If that was a 300lb white guy vs a 160lb white cop I’m sure he would of been taken to the ground in the same manner or if it was a 160lb black cop vs a 300lb white same same thing. Its ridiculous that every time this happens the race card comes out. IT’S SO PLAYED OUT It’s not funny. The fact of the matter is (and this is directed at you too Mike) that this guy black , white , yellow of pink RESISTED ARREST and decided he was going to fight the police who did have a legal reason to arrest him. Selling untaxed cigarettes as petty as it may sound is a crime. If you don’t like it then complain to the NYS legislators who write the laws not the police who are just responsible to enforce them. They do not get to chose which ones they have to enforce and not. As far as the choke hold being “illegal” well I’ll tell you what you go against a man that is over double your size and I wanna see how you take him to the ground. And Intern your absolutely right if you didn’t already know the Chief of the Dept for the NYPD is African American the same person who has not condemned the use of force here.

      • Intern

        Well I disagree. At the end of the day the police know how to arrest someone without killing them. And it’s not the race card being played it a the truth.. Smh. Only a white person would say what you just said. So I don’t care. I would not depend on the police force for anything. They pick and chose what’s right and wrong to do. My aunt is a police officer and I respect her but I don’t agree with what she does.. I don’t care how big he was he didn’t put his hands on them and harm any of the cops so why is he dead now cause they used too much force no matter what he did and the government justify black deaths all the time. Trayvon Martin and serveral other white on black deaths. But if I killed a white man purposely or not I would get life cause I am black. The government is crooked and cops are they do just as much illegal stuff as anyone else they just don’t get caught. Smh. Race is always a factor in this world we live in don’t be naive. The white man took us from our homeland just to kill us and they will keep killing us.

      • Joe

        Intern once again your right , the police do know how to arrest people when they comply and once again place their hands behind their back without resisting and fighting. When Mr. Garner said “No, your not arresting me this time” he took it to a whole new level. I want to make this clear, I DO NOT think he should of died, I do feel bad for him and and his family without a doubt however, he directly contributed to the end result when he consciously decided to resist and fight the police and his very poor physical condition as we know was a major factor in his death. Also, just to point out the obvious here this particular police officer is plain clothes meaning he did not have all the non lethal options to use such as a baton or what not meaning, he had no other option then to get “hands on” when Mr. Garner resisted arrest. and unfortunately the City of New York is too cheap to outfit every cop with a non lethal weapon such as a taser. This is a bad situation for both. I don’t think for a minute that this police officer was intentionally trying to kill Mr. Garner. He was trying to effect a lawful arrest and in the means of doing so it appears his actions caused the death of this individual which is tragic no doubt. This was not intentional like the Jersey City, NJ shooting a few weeks ago where a black man point blank shot a white cop in the head after he responded to an attempted to robbery of a store. Now did a lot of white activists cry racism …No and this happens more then you know or see on TV so it goes both ways. The fact of the matter is if Mr. Garner thought he was being arrested illegally then be arrested and file a unlawful arrest lawsuit or constitutional rights violation suit and their are lawyers all over the place that would pick up such suites and you read about payouts all the time. But here we had the police effecting a legal lawful arrest of a man who decided to resist and fight the police. His death tragic yes, but murder….definitely not.
        That is all. I hope this sheds some positive light on this unfortunate situation.

      • tony

        joe your a fool..this man resisted nothing…blatant choke hold joe…this cop came up behind this individual like a coward and choked him to death along with his cohorts …you must be blind..if it happened to one of your peoples you would be singing a different tune joe…videos dont lie joe….i can tell your ignorant for sure and you sound just like pat lynch a man who stands by his officers and i respect but right about now he sounds like you. a real fool ….its in your face audio and video and ignorance still finds a way into your mind to deny the undeniable…cops can be wrong sir….just because they passed a test got a gun and badge does not make them holier than thou,,,they make mistakes too..they are human beings…this is clearly one of them…they shouldve choked your ass out…then you would know asshole….

      • lwj

        Joe there’s no need arguing with intern. The idea that the police committed illegal acts is fine by him . You can’t get him to understand that the reason the choke hold was outlawed was specifically because of what has happened. There is truly no way to gauge the amount of pressure being put on someone’s throat especially hanging off the back of them. Selling loose cigarettes ,as far as I know, is not a crime . If I purchased cigarettes legally and someone approaches to and asks to buy one I would sell or maybe give one depending on the situation . There is nothing on the pack or the books of law that says I can not sell property legally owned by me.

      • tony

        bottom line my ass joe..bottom line is these cops or cop should go straight to jail..ignorance is a mother fucker…people like you strive on it..facts right in your face and you still find a way to twist it as to blame it on the victim..shouldve happened to one of yours, cop lover…you would be singing a different tune…let it be known all cops are not corrupt and all are not racist and ignorant but under pressure, the deep seated racism and ignorance comes out in some of them…..it comes out …they cant help themselves..if your a racist and ignorant before nypd then your a racist and ignorant in nypd..scary to know that these are some of the people hired to protect us…dont give you a gun and a badge joe…you would be on top of the world…scary….real scary….

      • Robert

        I bet Joe thinks that when NYPD walked up on Sean Bells car (for no other reason then to harass him at 3 in the morning; no priors, he just “fit a description of a suspect”) I bet you though them shooting 50 shots into an unarmed man’s car was justifiable too right?

        People like you are what hinders the growth of America’s voice, your justification of why he died or why he should have been arrested is a fallacy.. at the end of the day, it was an illegal tactic by the police officer that killed someone.. that is a homicide, point blank. Resisting arrest or not, using an illegal tactic is always an excessive use of force. Being a marine, and a shorter guy myself, I have taken guys down from behind twice my 175 pounds down front the front and rear by myself without the use of a choke hold.. not only is it possible to do by yourself, it is more likely he would have not been fighting back had he not been having his life choked out of him.. keep justifying murder my man, when it happens to one of your loved ones, Lord forbid, just chalk it up to the police doing their job..

        Your view is atrocious and one sided, completely ignoring the 1 major fact of the issue. Saddening.

      • Mike

        @Tony, your just a moron so I’m not even gonna entertain your response to Joe.

        @Robert, first of all give yourself a pat on the back for being able to “taken down men twice from the front and behind” your my hero. Second, this would never happen to any of my family members because my family #1 doesn’t commit crimes and #2 respects law enforcement so if placed under arrest (which wouldn’t happen) wouldn’t blatantly resist arrest and fight the police…..hence the real cause of his death.

  • Yomama

    Fuck you you fucking lying scumbag. Let me do to you what the bastard you’re protecting did to Eric. Come outside your fucking office and say that to all of us. I’ll step up and put my ass up for grabs. You’re a dirty son of a bitch. Your mother should’ve said no to you father that night or swallowed! GTFOH! NYC is going to be razed if your lite prodigy piglet gets away with this!

  • Lasket L

    Cops be acting like communist out here, barking orders and living by some code that results in harassment, death and injustice. Face it, cops need therapy just like prisoners, rehab, why are they mad, why are wanting to use violent force.They have to let the curse and violence this country started from go, we all are conscious people.
    Do they ever help you when you need, doubt it, but they will harass you tho, and take orders from egotist and etc.
    Itll get better, once better people get to be cops, and cops decide to protect and serve us and not Money. America we got to get it together.

  • Dont like the cops, call a crack addict!

    Morons, its not a choke hold! Learn something before you speak stupidity! The officer’s right arm in UNDER Garners, no where near the neck! He decided to not follow instructions and resist arrest, even though he has been arrested over 30 times before!!! He caused his own death by not complying!!!

    • Ian Tittle

      your an idiot just like that fool union boss the choke started when he was standing and sunk in when he went to the ground you can clearly his arm aroung the mans neck tell do you really need to even put your arm around someone neck to bring em down you and 5 or 6 other cops your either blind , stupid or just a plain asshole trying to justify this man murder with crap guess him saying i cannot breath was cuase he was not being choke and the M E report is also wrong dam idiot

    • Jose

      You are correct, it wasn’t a choke hold. Pix 11 attracts trashy low class people. I never had problems with the police but then again i didn’t act like an idiot in the street.

      • Mike

        To make a comment like that you either are a Hispanic that passes for white so you didn’t get messed with by cops, you didn’t grow up in nyc or you stayed home all the time. Any man that grew up black or Hispanic in nyc knows you don’t have to be doing anything to get screwed with by cops

      • Robert

        Typical. Trashy low class people, just shows the your statement is filled with based prejudiced.. not one person knows this man’s walk of life and yet you indirectly belittle, A DEAD MAN.. stay classy Jose

  • Tiffany

    this is bullshit just wanna protect the bad people like u dead ass?? a chokehold wasnt even necessary and pushing his head into the ground was not necessary and not listening to him when he kept saying i cant breathe i cant breathe was not necessary how could u be soo heartless talking bout he was a big man and he had to be taken down by force cuz he was being placed under arrest by shorter cops thats BULLSHITT all of them were harmed with guns and batons eric garner wasnt its like more of them over him unfair odds smh

  • Denise Gonzalez

    I have never met the PBA President and pray that i never have the awful experience of meeting him. He looks and speaks like he belongs somewhere down south wearing a white hood with KKK marks on his chest and a torch on his hand. I have always had this impression of him for many years and he has just re enforced it with his comments.

  • Richard Vito Verdejo

    Is Mr Lynch willing to allow ME to “recreate” the situation…and place a similar hold on him?

    The advantage he’d have is that with my medical background, I wouldn’t be sitting idly by watching him die from the application of an ILLEGAL hold.

  • Richard Vito Verdejo

    And as to the “lack of respect and slanderous comments”…RESPECT is something that is both GIVEN and EARNED.

    When an organization has a LONG HISTORY of not respecting the citizens they took and oath to serve and protect, and to continue to violate their Constitutional rights – and with the SUPPORT of the PBA and City Leaders – rather than weeding out those “bad apples”, you can best believe there is gonna be a SERIOUS LACK OF RESPECT.
    You’ve got to give it to get it.

  • jeri h

    They did have him in a choke hold. Maybe they need to watch the video again. Police are taking their power and authority to far and need to be punished just as any individual would be. There was no reason to even arrest the man much less use force on him the way they did! Not to mention he said repeatedly “I cant breath” at that point they should have tried to help him instead of just standing around like jack ass’ s.

  • Jose

    As a person who own his own martial arts dojo. In can tell you first hand that was not a choke Far from it. The mayor is weak and should have never won the election. How don you allow a race baiter to sit in city hall . Sharpton has no credibility. He is a opportunist who divides my country . The fact that African Americans always use the term black and Latino is laughable . Latinos are not the same as blacks. Don’t group us with your group because your group constantly has problems behaving .

    • Phil

      Hey dude………..as long as your name is ‘Jose’, this is NOT your country. Don’t get it twisted.

    • Pete

      The definition of choke hold is a tight grip around a person’s neck used to restrain him or her. Dojo or not any definition of it involves what everyone saw depicted. Also if u think Latinos are so different from blacks you never been to D.R., Cuba, Panama or Puerto Rico. Learn you own history. Oh yea my brother is a cop and even he admitted it was a choke hold, now go back to breaking bricks with your head

      • Safiya

        Oh stfu. Of course your brother would say it’s not a chokehold. He’s a cop. My boyfriend is a cop and he believes it want a chokehold. Of course, I believe he only thinks it wasn’t because he’s a cop. Any NORMAL person clearly knows it was a chokehold.

    • Robert

      You cannot at all own a dojo saying that is not a choke hold.. then again yow own a “martial arts” dojo.. that sounds like a but too general and no other martial artists would say that…….. seems like you have no idea, I am a certified military combat trainer, that is a chokehold.. no if and or buts.

  • Buwanna

    I lean right and support a quality law enforcement!

    We have not had that in decades, what we have is a LEGAL gang! The most violent gang there is bar none! The animals in blue are far worse than ms13, blood, crypts ect!
    The police has evolved from a problem solving entity to a violence first arrest at all costs entity

    I apologize to the small percentage of quality cops out there

    • Jose

      Buwanna you lean right that’s laughable . Maybe you should let the crackheads and gangs police yiur neighborhood. Seems like i am surrounded by fools. The lack of education shows on these blogs. Guarantee most.of you have criminal records.

      • tony

        jose your lack of education which equals out to ignorance shows in your comments.your the fool jose..to make a stupid ignorant statement that most of us on these blogs have criminal records proves my point..your not even worth having any type of dialogue with…go back to school and learn something mister…your an ass….

  • Pete

    What the hell is he talking about? If you look frame by frame some would say it looks like a choke hold? How about anyone with eyes and aren’t lying to themselves saw it was a choke hold. Big man or not, there is no excuse for using that move, it’s illegal for a reason

  • dlogan

    Plz tell me what video was this prick watching? Are they going to tell us what we clearly seen with our own eyes?

  • anne

    Really, I am so saddened by the fact that this is such an enormous debate. First of all there was no resisting, his hands were up in a “surrender” pose before before he was grabbed from behind. Then he WAS PUT IN A CHOKE HOLD and had no way to resist as he was being depleted of oxygen and sat on by multiple officers. I really don’t want to bring race into this because I don’t want to add fuel to the fire but Iam so sick of hearing aabout it. I want this to be about life and death, not black and white. I agree with the fact that race is a huge issue on the streets and I do not agree with all that bull Shit that’s happening, not at all, but more importantly I want justice for Eric. #99doyourtime. These dumb fucks need to stop tucking their dicks between their legs and realize a man WHO DID NOT RESIST OR STRUGGLE WITH THE COPS is now dead because an ILLEGAL CHOKE HOLD WAS PERFORMED because this officer thought he couldn’t take him down any other way and now Eric is gone and his family lives to carry on this pain and ignorance served on through the NYPD.

  • MelissaCaceres

    Umm? It’s on video!! Hello? How could they even attempt to defend the officers that did this? We all need to take a stand and let them know that this is UNACCEPTABLE!! NO EXCUSES!! NYPD your WRONG!!

  • Renee

    If U are Human or Animal and Your AIR SUPPLY is being CUT-OFF You will Respond to the Action that is taking place By Moving or trying to Remove what is SUFFOCATING YOU until YOU ARE NOT BREATHING ANYMORE…Which is what happened to Mr. GARNER…
    Has been used in Every single Arrest Ive seen that was not life threatning to the Police. ..Its the “Little Man Complex” that drives these Short In Stature police men to Cowardly Creeping Behind someone and CHOKING THE LIFE OUT OF THEM. HOWEVER
    Mr Garner did not deserve What happenned to him Nor His Family…Those Pigs Should be ARRESTED! and In PRISON (we know why thats not going to happen and ) And Also the Pigs who stood by and watch Mr. Garner Die…the Young Man asked Why Dont You Call the AMBULANCE..And the Female Cop said
    He was Dead Then.

  • Ramesses

    Make a police job the most dangerous job in America and you will get those idiots to act right.
    Snipe them from rooftops; Stab Them when they get close; or even go after their families. Only when they know there are consequences for their actions with they curb their aggression towards the public. Violence is always effective. Violence has always been an effective means to get the change that you want.

  • Truth

    There is a reason that police officers are given a gun and a badge. They have gone training into how to handle resisting perps. For anyone to say that police officers know only how to arrest people who comply or are about their same size or smaller are either ignorant… Or choose to be ignorant. Being a police officer does not mean you are allowed to break the law when it suits you. The chokehold is illegal, pure and simple. A perp is arrested for breaking the law. Resisting or not a police officer should be above reproach and not have to break the law to make an arrest.

  • brock

    I read a lot of these comments and its so sad.Patrick lynch is such a racist it shows his racism leaking out his pores on tv every time he speaks.What video was he watching please tell me because if he didn’t see that det.choke that man to death then why is he still employed by the union as their president hes blind.And then right after the medical examiner rules it a homicide the video recorder guy so happen to get arrested for passing somebody a gun in broad day light. And his wife gets arrested for supposedly assaulting somebody,all this taking place right after the ruling and her interview on PIX11.Come on if you people can’t see this stinks I don’t know what to say.It clearly looks like conspiracy,abuse of authority,and a cover up to demonize the witnesses.And what I don’t understand is what do these people criminal record has to do with a man being murdered by a NYPD member?Somebody please tell me.We don’t care if the man was arrested a thousand times,the video shows all evidence that the det.murdered this man.And for the PBA union rep.Hes so cocky that hes going to put his foot in his own mouth representing murderers with badges,Something is seriously wrong with him to sit there and call the city Medical Examiner Office liars,Call the mayor and Police commissioner out.Not only them but the whole world liars, this man really has some balls.NYPD is doing to much right now and they are demonizing themselves by framing the video guy and his wife this clearly shows a conspiracy.I smell FBI take over very soon.I say send that egotistical abuse of authority cop to jail send a message that will let them know that if they abuse their power they will goto jail if caught.If not its going to come to a point where it use to be in the early 80’s and 90’s where cops were being murdered because nobody trust them.Most cops are punks who got pants when they were growing up now they want revenge.but everything comes to an end its calling for FBI take over.This video is no denying that this cop choked him and continue to choke this man while he was on the ground after hearing this man say he cant breathe.thats more then an arrest that’s a racist,egotisical abuse of authority NYPD cop.

  • Jess E. Hadden

    Newsflash: cops are murderers. It shouldn’t be surprising that their union leaders are liars.

  • John Doe

    It was obviously a choke hold. Mr. Garner’s airways were compressed for approximately 7-8 seconds. Mr. Garner was only able to speak after the officer released his hold.

    For all those skeptics and doubters, I encourage you to watch the video again. The officer released his hold when Garner was on the floor. Only then, did Garner speak the words over and over again, “I can’t breath”.

    Garner’s was clearly choked. His airways were obstructed. His blood circulation was as well. Both factors leading to his death.

    JUSTICE for Garner!

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