A New York man who died last week after he was filmed being brought to the ground by New York Police Department officers was memorialized Wednesday by friends and family, but the discussion about police using chokeholds is still getting attention, especially with a new video showing a similar use of force in an arrest.
Eric Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island man, appeared to lose consciousness after saying he couldn’t breathe several times while in an apparent chokehold as he was arrested last week for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes. He died at a local hospital afterward.
A new video uploaded by savyfide on Wednesday purports to show another instance of the “illegal chokehold” move being used on a man in a New York City subway station.
The footage starts with the confrontation already in progress between two officers with a man on the ground. Several people filmed the struggle as the officers tried for a couple of minutes to get the man to put his hands behind his back. Eventually, he submitted.
Watch the video (Content warning: strong language):
After the incident with Garner, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton ordered officers to be retrained in their use of force.
“This department clearly needs to do more training,” Bratton said, according to the New York Daily News, noting that they are considering using the same training template adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Two NYPD officers, one of whom was identified as Officer Daniel Pantaleo, were taken off the street as a result of how Garner’s situation was treated. Pantaleo, who served in the NYPD for eight years, was stripped of his gun and badge, while the other officer, who was not named, retained his gun and badge but was placed on desk duty.
The fire department also barred four emergency workers from responding to 911 calls. The fire department took the action after a second video surfaced showing some half-dozen officers and emergency workers circling the man who appeared lying on the sidewalk, handcuffed and unresponsive. The medics’ restricted duties will remain in effect pending an investigation into their actions.
The medical examiner’s office said it’s still trying to determine Garner’s cause of death.
Garner’s funeral service took place Wednesday night with a program that depicted Garner as an angel and included a collage of photographs from his life and death, including one of a sign echoing what he told officers before he died: “This Stops Today.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, who attended the service, said even if police forgot their training and used an illegal chokehold on Garner, then it was the duty of police and medics to react when he said, “I can’t breathe.”
“What excuse could you come up with this time?” Sharpton asked. “When does your decency kick in? When does your morality kick in?”
(H/T: Daily Mail)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.