Mayor de Blasio rebuts NYPD unions on Eric Garner's death - New York News

Mayor de Blasio rebuts NYPD unions on Eric Garner's death

Posted: Updated:

By JONATHAN LEMIRE and JAKE PEARSON | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday defended a medical examiner's ruling that a man was killed by neck compressions caused by a police officer's chokehold, while the powerful police union representing rank-and-file officers called the death report "political."

Speaking at a news conference just minutes after Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch denied that Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a chokehold while attempting to arrest Eric Garner on July 17, de Blasio told reporters that the city's medical examiner's office was "the gold standard in this country" for medical science.

Last week, the medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide, saying it was caused by neck compressions from the chokehold and "the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." Asthma, heart disease and obesity were contributing factors in the death, the medical examiner said.

Prosecutors are still investigating. Pantaleo has been stripped of his gun and badge.

Partial video of the arrest shows that Garner, 43, who was being arrested on Staten Island for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes, told the officers taking him into custody that he was being harassed. The 6-foot-3, 350-pound man then shook his arm free from an officer's grasp before he was placed into the chokehold and brought to the ground.

In the video, he can be heard complaining that he can't breathe.

Both the police commissioner and the mayor have said it appears a chokehold was used. Chokeholds are banned under New York Police Department policy.

On Tuesday, Lynch disputed the findings, telling reporters that Garner had been warned by officers the week before his death to stop selling the cigarettes and denying that race played any role in the confrontation, as the Rev. Al Sharpton and others have said.

"It is a person's behavior that leads to interactions with police, not who they are, what they look like or how much money they have in their pocket," Lynch said.

Garner was black. Pantaleo is white.

Sharpton on Tuesday reiterated his call for a federal investigation into Garner's death.

De Blasio, who stressed that he had "immense respect" for the NYPD, also addressed comments made by the head of the union representing sergeants, who said a supervising officer should oversee every arrest made. That could slow down officers' response times to fresh 911 calls, the mayor said.

"Union leader say what union leaders say," de Blasio said when asked about Sergeant's Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins' comments. "I don't let the rhetoric of union leaders get in the way of getting job done."

 

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Lawsuit settlements reached in Metro-North crash

    Monday, September 15 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 00:39:39 GMT
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a Bridgeport train crash last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
    Four of 28 people who sued the Metro-North Railroad in federal court after being injured in a train crash in Connecticut last year have settled with the commuter railroad.
  • A history classroom in the real world

    A history classroom in the real world

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:09:49 GMT
    When Denis Belliveau is teaching kids about Marco Polo, he is in his element. He makes the explorer's journey come alive by taking students on a No. 7 train ride through Queens, New York's most diverse borough. He brings history alive for his students. Along the way the students stop in neighborhoods that mirror Polo's trip. I caught up with the class in Flushing, Queens, which easily resembles China.
    When Denis Belliveau is teaching kids about Marco Polo, he is in his element. He makes the explorer's journey come alive by taking students on a No. 7 train ride through Queens, New York's most diverse borough. He brings history alive for his students. Along the way the students stop in neighborhoods that mirror Polo's trip. I caught up with the class in Flushing, Queens, which easily resembles China.
  • Etan Patz murder confession played in court

    Etan Patz murder confession played in court

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:43:37 GMT
    A judge allowed a confession tape to be played in court in connection with the case of Etan Patz, who vanished in 1979. On the tape, Pedro Hernandez described how he killed Patz. But his lawyers say Hernandez falsely confessed and doesn't understand his rights. Before Hernandez's videotaped confession was played, Patz's mother quickly left the courtroom unable to watch the video.
    A judge allowed a confession tape to be played in court in connection with the case of Etan Patz, who vanished in 1979. On the tape, Pedro Hernandez described how he killed Patz. But his lawyers say Hernandez falsely confessed and doesn't understand his rights. Before Hernandez's videotaped confession was played, Patz's mother quickly left the courtroom unable to watch the video.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices