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Mayor Promises Full Investigation Into Fatal Staten Island Arrest

Friday, July 18, 2014

WNYC
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio discuss the investigation into the death of Eric Garner while in police custody. (Brigid Bergin/WNYC)

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he's ordered NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton to launch a "full and thorough investigation" into the death of a Staten Island man who died Thursday afternoon after officers tried to arrest him.

Police said 43-year-old Eric Garner was pronounced dead at a hospital after officers attempted to apprehend him for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally.

"The men and women of the NYPD are handed an enormous responsibility: the responsibility of keeping us safe, but also the responsibility of making very difficult split-second decisions in trying circumstances," said de Blasio. "It is too early to jump to any conclusions about this case. We must wait for all the facts and all the details of the incident to emerge."

In a video taken of the struggle and posted on the Daily News web site, Garner can be seen repeatedly saying he could not breathe after police put him in a chokehold, and police appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk during the arrest.

Bratton said he saw the video, and that while an officer appeared to utilize a chokehold in the altercation, the commissioner said such tactics were illegal and an infrequent occurrence.

"This would appear to have been a chokehold, but the investigation both by the District Attorney's office and by our own Internal Affairs will seek to make that final determination," said Bratton. "As to whether it's any way shape or form a violation of law, that would be a determination of the District Attorney's criminal investigation."

Bratton said both officers involved in the altercation have been reassigned to desk duty while the investigation is underway.

Editors:

Richard Yeh

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Comments [7]

SKV from nyc

Bratton needs to fire and gather evidence to prosecute these murderers.

Jul. 24 2014 10:00 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

A little crime here, and a little crime there, and soon we have a crime wave. That's how New York descended into chaos in the late '60s and was pulled out by Giuliani in ht early '90s with his zero tolerance policy. The death of this man may be a personal tragedy, but the fact is he was committing a CRIME. A small crime, perhaps, but that's how crime waves begin, from small ripples morphing into tsunamis.
I feel bad for the man who was killed, but if we keep constantly bashing the police they will stop doing their work and I know what will happen soon enough.

Jul. 21 2014 11:36 AM
Benoit Balz from Ny

This is not about invisible Gods or racial paranoia. This is about the Power Crackdown Structure and the stooges and lackeys who do the grunt work. All for peddling untaxed cigarettes on the street? They've got to be kidding.

Even worse than angry Capt. Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying girls at Occupy Wall Street.

Jul. 20 2014 09:12 AM
Marlene Riley from Houston, Texas

I strongly believe most tactics used by most white police officers on an alleged assailant of African descent are filled with hate for black people. When will most white people stop hating black people because of our skin color?

Jul. 19 2014 02:08 PM
Marlene Riley from Houston, Texas

I strongly believe most tactics used by most white police officers on an alleged assailant of African descent are filled with hate for black people. When will most white people stop hating black people because of our skin color?

Jul. 19 2014 02:08 PM
Marlene Riley from Houston, Texas

I strongly believe most tactics used by most white police officers on an alleged assailant of African descent are filled with hate for black people. When will most white people stop hating black people because of our skin color?

Jul. 19 2014 02:08 PM
Jacob from earth

Whites are Esua (Bible) and they HATE (some more then others) Israel (black people) Genesis 27:41-42... God will do away with Esau/Edom and take the power from Esau soon. Obadiah 1:9-10... Wake up Israel. Repent to God and come under the law of God and then God will see your pain. Psalm 27:3... The Bible is for Israel (Black people..) Revelation 1:14-15... Matthew 15:24...

So when the chief comes up to talk, he starts off by saying how evil, bad... this area is to set up the scene for some to say, "well it is a evil, bad.. area, you know!" This is what Esau does make the issues and when people fall into them, well they had it coming! The police should be given praise for even working in this area with these evil, bad... "BLACK" people. Esau never wants to tell the truth. They killed this man. Come back to God Israel(Black people...)

Jul. 18 2014 05:50 PM

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