Another Tragic Stain On New York City Police After Killing of Defenseless Man Choked to Death

| July 21, 2014 | 1 Comment

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By Dennis Byron and DShonda Brown

35-year-old Eric Garner was just about to be arrested in Staten Island for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes according to an official police report. While Garner verbally disputed their claims by saying “I didn’t do nothing”, “Every time you see me, you want to harass me, you want to stop me”. The 350-pound New Yorker pulled free when officers tried to handcuff him, but was not able to escape what was coming next. The officer dragged Garner to the ground with his arms around his neck in what appears to have been an illegal chokehold that was outlawed by NYPD years ago.

“I can’t breathe”, Garner repeatedly pleaded over and over. “Please just leave me alone”, he cried. Not too long after the incident on Thursday, which went viral on news media outlets nationwide, confrontation among the police and prosecutors began to spark. More than 20 years ago, an officer’s use of a chokehold is a dangerous maneuver banned by the New York Police Department. Mr. Garner was later pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center.

Though it is not too clear whether or not the chokehold was the real cause of Garner’s death, police officers may still be held accountable after an internal investigation.

Eric Garner apparently had real issues with NYPD before his death because according to his legal aid attorney, In 2007, he filed a handwritten complaint in federal court accusing a police officer of conducting a cavity search of him on the street, “digging his fingers in my rectum in the middle of the street” while people passed by.

In 1994, Bronx-native Anthony Baez was killed as a result of a chokehold that was administered by disgraced police officer Francis Livoti who was later acquitted of the killing at a criminal trial. However in 1998, Livoti was prosecuted by the federal government for civil rights violations and was sentenced to 7 years behind bars. Francis Livoti is working in Staten Island, NY as a Karaoke performer and part-time self-defense instructor…how ironic?

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