New York City

Family of man killed by NYPD chokehold talks to feds

August 22, 2014 By Tom Hays Associated Press
Protestors in New York City rally against the Eric Garner and Ferguson incidents. AP Photo/Michael R. Sisak, File
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The family of an unarmed black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white police officer met with a U.S. prosecutor on Thursday to again demand a federal probe.

The wife and mother of Eric Garner emerged from the 25-minute closed-door meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who attended the meeting, said Lynch assured the family that her office was monitoring a pending state investigation.

Sharpton also said he expects at least 3,000 people to turn out Saturday for a march on Staten Island — by far the largest demonstration since Garner’s death there on July 17. He said organizers are working with police officials to keep the rally peaceful.

“The outrage has not subsided,” Sharpton said. “… This is not going away.”

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Garner’s widow, Esaw Garner, added: “We need a lot of marchers to march and get justice for my husband.”

Garner’s arrest on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes was captured on an amateur video widely watched on the Internet.

Garner, who had asthma, can be heard on the video shouting, “I can’t breathe!” The 43-year-old father of six died a short time later.

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused by a chokehold, which is banned under police policy.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio postponed a family vacation after Garner’s death and spoke with black community leaders. He called the death a “terrible tragedy” and the video “very troubling.” His police commissioner, William Bratton, has promised to retrain officers on the use of force.

The Staten Island district attorney has said he will present evidence to a grand jury to determine whether any officers will face criminal charges.

A spokeswoman for Lynch declined to comment on Thursday.

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