By 3 News online staff
Two police officers who attempted to arrest a man in New York's Staten Island, only for the man to later die, have been demoted.
Video posted online shows a plainclothes police officer using an illegal chokehold on Eric Garner, who was suspected of selling illegal cigarettes, in an attempt to subdue him.
That officer, Daniel Pantaleo, has been stripped of his badge and gun and placed on "modified assignment", which officials with the New York Police Department (NYPD) explain is different to a desk job – the punishment handed down to a second officer involved – as it requires officers to give up their service weapon and badge.
Police Commissioner William Bratton says the chokehold is prohibited in the NYPD patrol guide because it can be fatal. In 1994, NYPD officer Francis Livoti was dismissed after a Bronx man died after being held in a chokehold.
In the video, Pantaleo's arm remains around Garner's neck after other officers bring him under control, and upon releasing his grip he pushes Garner's face into the pavement while the asthmatic repeatedly says "I can't breathe".
A second, seven-minute long video shows Garner lying motionless and no officers administering CPR. Ambulance staff eventually show up and take the man away.
He was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center shortly afterward. Police say Garner died of a heart attack, but the medical examiner has yet to determine his cause of death.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has labelled the incident "very troubling", delaying a planned holiday to Italy to ensure it is investigated.
Public outcry led to a rally on Saturday, where Garner's wife Esaw Garner broke down on stage when trying to address the crowds.
source: newshub archive