Eric Garner, 43, died after being placed in a choke hold by NYPD Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo on July 17. Another officer who aided Pantaleo is now on desk duty, while Pantaleo himself has been stripped of his badge and gun pending the outcome of an investigation.
Garner, a married father of six, has a record of more than 30 arrests, most involving the sale of untaxed cigarettes, which is the same reason Pantaleo stopped Garner on Staten Island.
While in the choke hold, Garner, an asthmatic, went into cardiac arrest. He fell unconscious and was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center soon after.
According to CBS New York, “Choke holds are in fact prohibited by the New York City Police Department because of the concerns of potential death arising from them,” Commissioner Bill Bratton said in statement on July 18.
Over the weekend, Rev. Al Sharpton led a rally at New York's National Action Network in support of a full investigation for Garner's family and friends.
Sharpton said during the rally, “The issue was how an unarmed man was subjected to a choke hold, and the result is he is no longer with us,” reports CBS News. “It was our contention that one – there needed to be an immediate investigation, but secondly, after you look at the video, and the use of this choke hold – which is against departmental procedure – there is no justification at all on this choke hold, and there is clearly no reason when a man is saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ that you maintain this choke hold."
Garner's case is currently being investigated by multiple organizations, including the NYPD's internal affairs unit and the New York City Medical Examiner's office, alongside the Staten Island District Attorney's office.