The NYPD’s track record of police brutality, as it stands, is less than stellar. In 2012, it was reported that since the 1999 slaying of Guinean immigrant, Amadou Diallo (shot 41 times after reaching for his wallet), the NYPD had killed at least 221 people. In 2012, it was reported that they killed 21 people.
Well, some Staten Island officers added to the tally on Thursday with the killing of 43-year-old husband and father of six, Eric Garner. Garner was allegedly stopped by at least four NYPD officers for selling “loosies” or untaxed, single cigarettes on the street, an offense he’d been arrested for before. It was this reason that the officers put Garner in a chokehold (which is against the department’s policy) and slammed his head into the pavement. According to witnesses, this account is complete bullshit. Onlookers say the only thing Garner did was break up a fight. Garner mentioned the officers harassing him on previous occasions moments before the deadly accosting.
The 400 pound Garner had been described by others as a “gentle giant.” He also suffered from asthma, though police attribute his death to a heart attack. The officers say they jumped on Garner because he was posed in a “fighting stance” towards them.
A more detailed look at events can be seen here. Video of the incident can be seen below: