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'Modified Duty' For Medics After Fatal NYC Arrest

Monday, July 21, 2014

New York City says four emergency workers involved in the medical response to a man who died in police custody have been barred from responding to 911 calls.

The fire department said Sunday two EMTs and two paramedics were placed on "modified duty" pending an investigation into Eric Garner's death.
The 43-year-old died Thursday on Staten Island after a police officer placed him in an apparent chokehold while arresting him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.

The fire department says the emergency workers are employed by the hospital where Garner was pronounced dead. The hospital did not respond to requests for comment.

Two officers involved in the arrest have been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome of an investigation. One of them was stripped of his gun and badge.

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Comments [13]

Anon from Brooklyn

I live in Bed Stuy Brooklyn & a man was shot & dying on the sidewalk 2 weeks ago. ( a block w 5 brownstones under full renovation & recently sold for around $1M). It took 15 min for EMTs to arrive. Needless to say he took his last breath waiting. A neighbor ran down the block to hail a cop. When another neighbor called 911 (wait for it...) he got a RECORDING!!! Later 8 suited detectives paraded up & down the block. Their show of efficiency was for the "new" neighbors & embarrassingly transparent.

Jul. 23 2014 06:37 PM
Judith Targove from Highland Park, NJ

Sad, very sad. This is the sort of action that causes people to hinder rather than help the police as they go about their patrols.

Jul. 22 2014 03:01 PM
john from my desk

It's like watching the Discovery Channel.

Jul. 22 2014 09:10 AM
Joan Cox from NJ

All media has the information about cigarette selling but according to a friend who was an eye witness, Eric Garner was trying to break up a fight when he was arrested. Apparently the police couldn't tell the truth, so they said it was about his cigarette business.

Jul. 21 2014 05:44 PM
Medic from NYC

Not sure where to begin with this one.

What will this stupidity cost the Tax Payers:

An adjusted $2 Million Dollars of Tax Payer money will probably be awarded to the Next of Kin for that illegal choke hold. This specific suit will probably be 4 Million, but they will claim he was resisting arrest. Technically, he was.

An adjusted #2 Million Dollars of Private Hospital money will probably be awarded to the Next of Kin for Hospital EMS workers failure to immediately perform life saving measures and/or resuscitate the Patient. The video is clear: No airway precautions/ventilation or compression were being performed after pulse check. The suit will probably be 4 million, but they will probably claim his obesity and other health issues contributed to his death.

Couple of other notes:
1) Compression would be ineffective with the patient handcuffed behind his back. I've always demanded the patient be cuffed to the long board or stretcher.

2) Were any of these cops trained in first aid? If so, did they do anything to help?

3) Maybe the City EMS dispatcher is at fault too! What was the response time for the first Medical Unit? Why wasn't the FDNY Engine (First Responders) dispatched and on the scene.

4) How about the cops who attempted to block the incident from being recorded?

It's all about integrity.

I think the EMS Professionals in the video should have their EMT certifications revoked for not acting immediately.

I also think the cops, the supervising sergeant, and the plains clothes cop that attempted to obstruct the video should be removed from the force.

In the end, the proliferation of video (CCTV and Mobile Phone) has helped law enforcement agencies solve crimes and convict numerous criminals. Hopefully, these mobile phone videos will help change this City for the better.

NYC Medic
Class of 1992

Jul. 21 2014 12:59 PM
Medic from NYC

Not sure where to begin with this one.

What will this stupidity cost the Tax Payers:

An adjusted $2 Million Dollars of Tax Payer money will probably be awarded to the Next of Kin for that illegal choke hold. This specific suit will probably be 4 Million, but they will claim he was resisting arrest. Technically, he was.

An adjusted #2 Million Dollars of Private Hospital money will probably be awarded to the Next of Kin for Hospital EMS workers failure to immediately perform life saving measures and/or resuscitate the Patient. The video is clear: No airway precautions/ventilation or compression were being performed after pulse check. The suit will probably be 4 million, but they will probably claim his obesity and other health issues contributed to his death.

Couple of other notes:
1) Compression would be ineffective with the patient handcuffed behind his back. I've always demanded the patient be cuffed to the long board or stretcher.

2) Were any of these cops trained in first aid? If so, did they do anything to help?

3) Maybe the City EMS dispatcher is at fault too! What was the response time for the first Medical Unit? Why wasn't the FDNY Engine (First Responders) dispatched and on the scene.

4) How about the cops who attempted to block the incident from being recorded?

It's all about integrity.

I think the EMS Professionals in the video should have their EMT certifications revoked for not acting immediately.

I also think the cops, the supervising sergeant, and the plains clothes cop that attempted to obstruct the video should be removed from the force.

In the end, the proliferation of video (CCTV and Mobile Phone) has helped law enforcement agencies solve crimes and convict numerous criminals. Hopefully, these mobile phone videos will help change this City for the better.

NYC Medic
Class of 1992

Jul. 21 2014 12:59 PM
George from Westchester

What is so horrifying is the thick-necked, maleducated and bullying attitude of the officers before they even laid hands on Mr. Garner. The murder victim demonstrated considerable restraint prior to the manhandling that ultimately caused his death. Mr. Garner repeatedly says he can't breathe under the chokehold and eventually has his head pressed with considerable force against the concrete floor. When he becomes unresponsive these neanderthals can't even have the decency to release the cuffs that bind his hands behind his back. They just stand around like the lummoxes they are as one half-heartedly taps him on the back saying "c'mon buddy". Simply revolting and lacking any sense of compassion for a human being in distress. Thank God some bystander had the resolve to continually videotape this crime.

Jul. 21 2014 10:15 AM
JF Purcell from Oceanside, NY

This man's death is inexcusable. And to take the emergergency workers to task seems absurd.

Jul. 21 2014 08:53 AM
jcfromnj from New Jersey


A NYPD Snuff movie for all to see. Clockwork Orange and Madd Maxx rolled into one

Jul. 21 2014 08:18 AM
jonah from nj

so the cops kill a man and and all the blame get put on the medical workers for not cleaning up the cops mess?

Jul. 21 2014 08:02 AM
DP from Brooklyn

Besides the brutality of the police which makes me cringe, I do not understand why the EMS did not give this man oxygen immediately, take his vital signs and stabilize him prior to putting him on a stretcher. I watched and could not believe my eyes.

Jul. 21 2014 07:49 AM
Roland from Brooklyn

This is murder. Until Officers are charged they will continue to bully, strangle and kill us. The man was seliing cigarettes ? Shocking.

Jul. 21 2014 07:41 AM
LB from NYC

Who are these thugs we employ to protect us? And who are the thugs doing the employing? We're out of control. Really.

Jul. 21 2014 07:22 AM

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