After shocking footage surfaced last week of NYPD officers tackling and choking a Staten Island man, national outrage has prompted one group to push for New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton to be fired.
The group, known as “New Yorkers Against Bratton,” held a small protest outside of City Hall on Monday in response to the brutal death of Eric Garner, 43, at the hands of four NYPD officers. While protesters rallied for Bratton to be fired, the NYPD declined to comment on the protest.
An internal NYPD report obtained by theNY Daily News stated that Garner never appeared to be in “great distress,” and failed to mention the chokehold all together. Other excerpts from the report include that “Mr. Garner became unresponsive, though he was observed to be breathing,” and that “Mr. Garner went into cardiac arrest when he was placed on the stretcher by EMT’s.” All claims that seem to contradictory to what is shown in the video.
Garner died Thursday after being arrested for selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. In the viral video, you can see Garner surrounded by the four officers before being put in a chokehold. The father of six can be heard repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe,” but the officers would not let up until Garner slammed onto the concrete.
The use of the chokehold was banned in New York City for over two decades by former police commissioner Ray Kelly, prompting outrage in communities all over the nation and especially New York City, where police brutality and harassment seem to be a recurring issue.
Medical examiners have not determined the exact cause of death, but Garner’s medical history of asthma has been reported as one of the key causes for his inability to breathe during the arrest.
Since the tragic incident, two police officers have been reassigned and four emergency workers have been suspended without pay.