A New York City medical examiner finally confirmed what urban America had already suspected — that the NYPD cop killed Eric Garner when he put him in an illegal chokehold.
All over a few cigarettes.
Eric Garner, the Staten Island father of six who complained that he couldn’t breathe as the life was being choked out of him by NYPD officer Dan Pantaleo, died from compression of the neck, the medical examiner ruled Friday.
After Garner was dead on the sidewalk, he was left to rot by the NYPD officers on the scene. No one administered CPR and they waited 10 minutes before even calling medical personnel, who also failed to try to revive Garner when they arrived on scene.
Included in the report, the medical examiner said compressions to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police” killed Garner. The manner of death, according to the medical examiner, was homicide, the New York Daily News reports.
Garner’s widow told the Daily News she was relieved that the coroner finally confirmed what she suspected since her husband died on July 17.
“Thank God the truth is finally out,” Esaw Garner said. “Thank God for that.”
Staten Island prosecutors are still investigating the 43-year-old man’s death. No one has been charged.
The announcement from the medical examiner’s office was the latest development in a case that sparked national outrage after The News obtained a sickening cell phone video. It showed Officer Daniel Pantaleo using the banned chokehold on the father of six.
Police say they approached Garner because he was selling unlicensed cigarettes — better known as loosies — and that he resisted arrest.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association offered a sort of backhanded condolence to Garner’s family, saying they regret his death but said he was partially responsible for it.
“We believe, however, that if he had not resisted the lawful order of the police officers placing him under arrest, this tragedy would not have occurred,” PBA President Pat Lynch said in a statement.
Pantaleo, 29, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, has been sued twice before for false arrests and violating police procedures. He was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty while the investigation continues.