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December 21, 2014
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Ear to the Ground

Staten Island Man’s NYPD Chokehold Death Ruled Homicide

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Posted on Aug 1, 2014

    Mourners arrive as NYPD officers stand guard at Eric Garner's funeral at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn on July 23. AP/John Minchillo

A medical examiner ruled that a police officer’s chokehold on unarmed New York City resident Eric Garner last month caused the 43-year-old man’s death.

According to the BBC, examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Garner’s death was caused by “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” Heart disease and asthma were contributing factors, she confirmed.

Police commissioner Bill Bratton previously described the use of chokeholds as prohibited by the NYPD because of the likelihood of injury or death.

Garner, who was a resident of Staten Island, went into cardiac arrest July 17 after officers attempted to place him into custody on charges of selling illegal cigarettes. He was pronounced dead at a hospital one hour after the street incident.

There was no word yet on what the consequences would be for the officers involved or the police department.

Here is edited footage of the confrontation that led to Garner’s death:

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly

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