Man Dies After NYPD Chokehold

    A New York Police Department officer is seen as Mayor Bill de Blasio attends a news conference in the Brownsville neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York January 30, 2014. De Blasio, who ran on a pledge to reform the police department's aggressive use of stop-and-frisk practices, reached a deal with a civil liberties group on Thursday to end the long legal fight. REUTERS/Eric Thayer (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS) - RTX181HO

    Eric Thayer/Reuters

    After being put into a chokehold by one cop and having his head slammed against the sidewalk by other officers, a 400-pound asthmatic father from Staten Island died Thursday. “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, was seen shouting as at least five NYPD officers took him down. Garner, who was married and had six children and two grandchildren, eventually stopped fighting and appeared to go unconscious as paramedics were called. The incident was recorded on smartphones by an angry crowd. According to police, Garner had a record for selling untaxed cigarettes, and so cops went to arrest him after seeing him selling them on Thursday. The police claim he “was being placed in custody, went into cardiac arrest, and died.” However, the family says he was breaking up a fight, and that the police were harassing him and he did not have any cigarettes on him or in his car. The NYPD has launched an internal investigation.

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