Chokehold Death Settlement
New York awards Garner family $5.9 million
7/15/2015, 11:08 a.m.
(AP) — The family of a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer’s chokehold reached a $5.9 million settlement with the city on Monday, days before the anniversary of his death.
Eric Garner, who was 43, was stopped last July 17 outside a Staten Island convenience store because police officers believed he was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A video shot by an onlooker shows Garner telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed.
An officer, Daniel Pantaleo, placed his arm around Garner’s neck to take him to the ground. Garner, who had asthma, is heard gasping “I can’t breathe!” 11 times before he loses consciousness. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
The city medical examiner found that the police chokehold contributed to Garner’s death. But a grand jury declined to indict the officer in the death. A federal probe is ongoing.
Garner’s death sparked demonstrations and became a flashpoint in a national debate about relations between police and minority communities.