A Staten Island father died Thursday after being placed in a chokehold by an NYPD officer. Video of the incident shows other officers slamming his head against the sidewalk.
Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” after at least five NYDP officers took him down in front of a beauty supply store in Tompkinsville.
Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, stopped struggling and appeared to be unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smartphones.
“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw, told the Daily News.
She got no details from police until after she had gone to the hospital to identify his body, she said.
“I saw him with his eyes wide open and I said, ‘Babe, don’t leave me, I need you.’ But he was already gone,” she said.
Watch the encounter:
Police say Garner has a history of arrests for selling untaxed cigarettes. Cops said they saw him selling them Thursday on Bay St. and moved in for an arrest.
The cop who had choke-held Garner can be seen staring at the camera that was videotaping him.
“This had nothing to do with the fight, this had something to do with something else,” he said, and walked away.
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