The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has on Friday ruled that the death of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man killed during an arrest by NYPD officers is homicide. This came on the heels of public outcry over the death in which police commissioner Bill Bratton vowed to do a “top to bottom” review of how officers are trained to make arrests.
According to the Medical Examiner’s report, Garner was killed as a result of compression to his neck and chest during physical restraint by the police. Other contributing factors include chronic asthma, hypertensive cardiovascular disease and obesity which the deceased suffered from.
Bratton had on July 22 said that “We’re to do more than just of Staten Island” and that “the department needs to do a lot, a lot in the area of training.” Daniel Donovan, the Staten Island District Attorney said in a separate statement credited to a spokesman that “We await the issuance of official death certificate and autopsy report. The investigation into Mr. Garner’s death continues.
Meanwhile, Garner’s family has reportedly met with federal prosecutors demanding a civil rights investigation into his death. While the department of Justice is monitoring the case, the NYPD had launched an internal investigation, all in a bid to get to the root of the matter.
Acknowledging the receipt of the report, and condoling the family, Mayor Bill de Blasio said “On behalf of New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Eric Garner, on this day we have received the Medical Examiner’s findings concerning the cause of his death.” Furthermore, de Blasio said that “My administration will continue to work will all involved authorities, including the Richmond County District Attorney, to ensure a fair and justified outcome.”
Even though the police union extends condolences to Eric Garner’s family, the body blamed his death on his refusal to submit to lawful arrest, and the apparent health problems. Patrick Lynch, President, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said “We believe, however, that if he had not resisted the lawful order of the police officers placing him under arrest, this tragedy would not have occurred.” Lynch added that “The NYC PBA stands firmly in support of all police officers who are put in these difficult circumstances.”