New York City

Mayor de Blasio postpones Italy vacation over death of Eric Garner

Troubled over death of Staten Island man

July 18, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo by Diana Robinson, Office of the Mayor
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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio postponed his planned Friday departure for a vacation with his family to Italy for a day.

Instead, de Blasio consulted with community leaders about the troubling death of a Staten Island man, Eric Garner, 43, after being arrested by the NYPD.

At a press conference, the mayor said, “Like so many New Yorkers I was very troubled by the video I reviewed earlier today. I have instructed Commissioner Bratton to ensure that there will be a full and thorough investigation of this incident.

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While being arrested for illegally selling loose cigarettes, “There was a physical struggle during which Mr. Garner repeatedly complained of difficulty breathing as the officers wrestled him to the ground,” Commissioner Bill Bratton said. “An ambulance was immediately called to the scene and Mr. Garner was transported by EMS to Richmond University Medical Center. He went into cardiac arrest, if I understand, while he was in the vehicle. He was pronounced dead approximately one hour later at the hospital.”

A video shows officers appearing to use a chokehold on Mr. Garner. Bratton said that chokeholds “are in fact prohibited by the NYPD.”

De Blasio aid it is “too early to jump to any conclusions about this case–we must wait for all the facts and details of the incident to emerge. But I assure all New Yorkers, there will be a full and thorough investigation. Commissioner Bratton and I are deeply committed to strengthening the relationship between community and police in New York City in all of our neighborhoods.”

In a statement issued early Friday evening, de Blasio’s press secretary Phil Walzak said, “The mayor will postpone the departure for his upcoming family vacation to Saturday, in order to attend to city business.”

De Blasio is scheduled to visit Grassano, where his grandmother lived, Sant’Agata de’ Goti, where his grandfather was born, Rome, Naples, Capri and Venice.

He originally planned to return to New York City July 27.


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