New York City police officers killed a man Thursday after he had broken up a fight between two other men, insisting on placing him in a chokehold and slamming his head to the pavement, piling on top of him as he gasped for air and as he continually told the cops he couldn’t breathe.
The entire incident was caught on video from a witness who kept telling the cops that the man had not committed a crime.
But evidently, the cops suspected him of selling untaxed cigarettes, which apparently is a very serious crime in New York City.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville beauty supply store when he resisted being handcuffed.
Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, ceased struggling and appeared to become unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smart phones.
“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw Gardner, told the Daily News.
Police officials said Garner has a history of arrests for selling untaxed cigarettes. They did not immediately say why officers were at the scene when he drew their attention.
An NYPD spokesman would only say the man “was being placed in custody, went into cardiac arrest and died” at Richmond University Medical Center.
Although police are not saying what led up to this incident, it is believed they responded to fight between two other men.
Garner broke up the fight and the two other men fled, so that left the cops with nobody to harass except Garner, whom they apparently knew from his history of selling untaxed cigarettes.
Garner weighed 400 pounds and had a series of health complications, which will no doubt be the blame for his death.
But the video speaks for itself.
He was killed by the NYPD.
Ed. Note: This story was updated Aptil 5th, 2016 and the above video was restored along with the cover photo. Cover image screen captured from the New York Daily News original uncut exclusive video embedded above.