U.S. News


NYC Chokehold Reactions: The Public Vs. The Police

Nearly a week after a man died in police custody after apparently being put in a chokehold, the public, police and the victim's family are reacting.
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 23, 2014

It's no secret reaction was negative following the death of a Staten Island man who was apparently put in a chokehold by a police officer while in custody last week.

Rallies were held in New York to protest the handling of the tragic incident. (Via WNYW)

And social media was filled with people expressing their outrage. This, after cell phone video circulated showing what appeared to be police administering a chokehold to 43-year-old Eric Garner as he gasped for air. (Via Twitter)

Even celebrities reacted, with director Spike Lee tweeting"Brother Eric Garner No Longer Breathes Courtesy Of Banned NYPD Chokehold. Rest In Power" and Rev. Al Sharpton posting a message of support for Garner's family. 

Many of those speaking out against the fatal incident say police didn't follow proper protocol, based on what you can see in the cell phone video first obtained by New York Daily News

The NYPD officially banned officers' use of chokeholds back in 1994. And it at least looks like the officer behind Garner was putting the asthmatic father of six in a chokehold. 

After all the backlash, New York City's police commissioner announced a thorough investigation into the NYPD's training procedures Tuesday and ordered his 35,000 officers to be retrained. (Via ABC)

But several NYPD officers say they're offended by the negative reaction. 

USA Today found some posts on websites created for law enforcement to talk about various issues. In those comments, several anonymous posters claim Garner brought his death on himself.

The outlet quotes one poster on PoliceOne.com as saying, "If Mr walking heart attack had simply put his hamburger shovels behind his back, he wouldn't have had a [heart attack for] over exerting himself."

Garner's family sees things differently. His mother told the New York Daily News"It's just a lack of humanity. That's what it was. He was nothing to them, but he was our people. He was just a big guy on the street."

Garner was reportedly attempting to sell untaxed cigarettes at the time of his attempted arrest. The investigation into his death has now been turned over to the local district attorney.