Medical examiner: Chokehold triggered Eric Garner’s death

New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo leaves his home Monday 13 May 2019, in Staten Island, new york, A long-delayed disciplinary trial began Monday for Pantaleo, accused of using a prohibited chokehold in the July 2014 death of Eric Garner. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

NEW YORK – The medical examiner that an autopsy performed on Eric Garner stated on Wednesday that the police’s chokehold on the move “a fatal series of events,” but they said even a bear hug could have hastened his death, given Garner’s fragile health.

Hemorrhages in Garner’s neck muscles was an indication of a chokehold that an asthma attack and led him to go into a cardiac arrest after a confrontation with the New York city police officers in July 2014, Dr. Floriana Persechino said.

She testified at the disciplinary hearing for officer Daniel Pantaleo, tell together at times with graphic autopsy photos which have never before been seen in a public forum.

Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, responded to a warning by the administrative law judge and left the hearing room before they were shown.

Persechino said a bystander’s video of the confrontation only helped to make her findings that the officer had put his arm around Garner’s neck, obstructing his breathing. The NYPD banned chokeholds in the 1990s, because they can be deadly.

Persechino testified Garner weighed 395 pounds at the time of his July 2014 death. He suffered from asthma, diabetes and had a heart almost twice the size of a person is in good health. Still, she said, that he did not appear in distress when seen on the security video crossing a street about an hour before Pantaleo grabbed him.

Pantaleo’s lawyer, Stuart London, focused on the pursuit of health as he cross-examined Persechino.

A report from the NYPD’s top doctor concluded that Garner was “prone to disease and mortality” and that his death ” brought on by a heated discussion, followed by a physical struggle,” London said.

The NYPD doctor, Eli Kleinman, not personally investigate Garner’s body, trust in place of the autopsy and the video of the confrontation, London said. Kleinman will testify later in the trial that he concluded Pantaleo not a chokehold to limit Garner, London said.

London argued Garner would have saved himself had he begun arrested after officers said they suspected him of selling untaxed loose cigarettes on Staten Island, on the corner of the street. Before Pantaleo grabbed him, Garner is seen on video arguing with the officers, who protest against what he saw as constant harassment.

The NYPD’s disciplinary process as a process in front of an administrative law judge. Normally the goal is to determine whether an officer violated department rules, but that is only if disciplinary charges are filed within 18 months of an incident.

Because Pantaleo case languished, the guardian of the Civilian Complaint Review Board must demonstrate that its actions rose to the level of criminal behavior, even though he faces no criminal charges and will be tried in a department tribunal, not a criminal court.

The final decision about any punishment is to the commissioner of police. Penalties range from loss of vacation days to shoot.

Pantaleo, 33, denies misconduct. He is on desk duty since Garner’s death.

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