On Thursday, Eric Garner, a Staten Island father of six, was killed as at least five New York Police Department officers attempted to arrest him. The asthmatic 400-pound man died of cardiac arrest after being put in a strong chokehold. In the video above of the incident, you can hear Garner saying repeatedly “I can’t breathe.”
Police say they saw Garner selling untaxed cigarettes, a crime he reportedly had history of committing, when they attempted to arrest him.
However, in the news report below, a number of witnesses say Garner was on the scene breaking up a fight when police singled him out. His family also said he did not have any cigarettes on him at the time of the attempted arrest.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday tweeted his condolences to the family of Garner. The NYPD has launched an investigation of the incident.
On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Eric Garner.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) July 18, 2014