43-year-old dies after police men put him in choke hold as he resisted arrest.
“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time.”- Wife, Esaw Garner said.
An asthmatic man from Staten Island in the US has died in police custody after about three officers jumped him and another put him in a choke hold as they tried to arrest him.
In a video which has appeared on US News website NY Daily News, the man named locally as Eric Garner can be heard repeatedly screaming that he couldn’t breathe a few times before going silent.
Witnesses report having seen Police men approach Garner as he sat in front of a shop and began questioning him about alleged untaxed cigarette sales. The married father of six had been due in court in October on allegations of pot possession and selling untaxed cigarettes.
An NYPD spokesman who spoke to the news site confirmed that a man had gone into cardiac arrest while in custody and died at Richmond University Medical Centre.
His wife accused the police of covering ‘their asses’ and distorting the truth.
“They’re covering their asses, he was breaking up a fight. They harassed and harassed my husband until they killed him,” she said. His family say he didn’t have anything on him or in his car at the time and Police have also confirmed he was unarmed.
You can watch the video here (CAUTION- Graphic scenes).
Garner was said to have told officers, “I didn’t do s—!. “I was just minding my own business, just leave me alone,” he said.
“Every time you see me you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today!” He yelled.
The argument between Garner and the officers continued as they called for back up in order to arrest him, while Garner kept protesting his innocence saying they had no right to arrest him as he had done nothing wrong.
When Garner refused to put his hands behind his back, the officers jumped him and knocked him to the ground while one put him in a choke hold. The officer can also be seen knocking Garner’s head unto the pavement.
An eye-witness who lives in the area caught the incident on camera and even he didn’t realise Garner had become unconscious as he was surrounded by officers.
Garner could be heard screaming “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” six times before he went silent and paramedics were called.
It became apparent the arrest had gone wrong after officers started yelling at people to ‘back up,’ before securing the scene.
NYPD have launched an investigation into the death.