NEW YORK — A New York City man died during an arrest — partly captured on amateur video — during which a plain-clothes police officer placed him in what appeared be a choke hold while several others brought him to the ground and struggled to place him in handcuffs.
Internal affairs investigators and prosecutors announced inquiries Friday into the death of Eric Garner the evening before outside a Staten Island beauty salon. Garner, 43, had a heart attack as he struggled with officers trying to arrest him on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes, police said.
Partial video of the confrontation obtained by the New York Daily News shows an officer placing what appears to be a choke hold on the 6-foot-3, 350-pound Garner, who can be heard complaining repeatedly that he can't breathe as at least four other officers bring him down. He then apparently loses consciousness.
"It was very troubling," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Friday, promising a thorough investigation.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said the NYPD patrol guide prohibits the use of a choke hold because it can be fatal.