US man choked by police: A homicide

New York - Medical examiners on Friday ruled that the New York man wrestled to the ground and choked to death in a police arrest in July was a homicide.

Eric Garner, aged 43, a black father of six, died on 17 July after being tackled by white officers for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes in the New York City borough of Staten Island.

An autopsy revealed that Garner suffered "compression of neck [choke hold], compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police", Julie Bolcer, spokesperson for the New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner told local media.

In a video captured by a local resident, Garner cried out repeatedly that he could not breathe as an officer gripped him in a choke hold.

Garner, wearing shorts and unarmed, was shown arguing with two officers before one grabbed him round the neck, wrestled him to the ground and another pressed down his face.

Three other uniformed police officers were also shown arriving to help subdue Garner in the video.

Following the medical examiner's announcement, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio promised "to ensure a fair and justified outcome" and that his administration would continue "to work with all involved authorities," including the district attorney's office.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Eric Garner", de Blasio said.

"We all have a responsibility to work together to heal the wounds from decades of mistrust and create a culture where the police department and the communities they protect respect each other", he said.

The case spotlights the racial tensions in New York, and has sharpened calls for police reform under de Blasio.

African-American civil rights activist Al Sharpton led hundreds of mourners in demands for justice at Garner's funeral last week.

Choke holds are illegal because of concerns over potential deaths.

See the video below. Warning the content is graphic.

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MeThinks 2014/08/02 08:49:36 AM
Alfred Karius 2014/08/02 08:51:13 AM
A critical mass was reached a long time ago in the american police forces. There are so many low IQ thugs in the police that decent citizens are put off joining the police force. America has one of the most brutal police forces on the planet with daily reports of police brutality. This is way to prevalent to be the fault of some rogue cops, it comes from the top down. Brutality is police policy. America is in effect a police state with one of the most effective propaganda machines in the world selling it as a democracy.
Hugo Pelzer 2014/08/02 08:52:36 AM
As sad as this is, I always wonder why people argue with the police. If you feel you have a case, go sort it out in court, you can then sue them for wrongful arrest if you are innocent.
Ek Jou Gese 2014/08/02 09:11:54 AM
I hope all off them go to jail. Just not acceptable. Low life scum.
Ek Jou Gese 2014/08/02 09:11:56 AM
I hope all off them go to jail. Just not acceptable. Low life scum.
Luyanda Biyela 2014/08/02 09:25:52 AM
Rid the police department of uneducated power hungry morons and police brutality will be a thing of the past. Why strangle an unarmed man when the is four of you. Idiots.
Dan De Lange 2014/08/02 10:28:25 AM
If everybody wants a perfect police force, you are going to wait forever as there are to many variables, there can never be a rule book to cover how every situation gets handled, the Police will always be the scapegoat and get called names. You will always find loose cannons - but you will always find the same people that screams police brutality or criticize them,- will always be the last to volunteer to do a policeman's duties - strange but true?
Colbern Mashego 2014/08/02 10:48:36 AM
@Hugo that is correct brother I wish all this people where thinking like you how can you fight the police
Reero Reerie 2014/08/02 12:28:33 PM
Vewi sad the way the man died but there is too many loopholes in this story...its a shame wot the policeman had done but than again wot if the same policeman had been overpowered by the deceased IN The argument? Thn it wud b awso a shame thn people will no longer adhere too the laws like here in ZA...I say a case has 3 sides of a story.... Just Saying
Liz Fivaz 2014/08/02 02:01:24 PM
Here we go again! The race card as usual! This is blown out of proportion to make the white man look guilty! So sick of it .....