The death of Eric Garner, 43, in New York City on Thursday after an apparent chokehold by a police officer is being investigated by police and prosecutors, the New York Times reports. The chokehold is a dangerous maneuver that was banned by the New York Police Department more than 20 years ago. “As defined in the department's patrol guide, this would appear to have been a chokehold,” said Police Commissioner William Bratton.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board logged 233 allegations involving chokeholds in 2013, 4.4 percent of the excessive-force complaints it received. Although only a tiny fraction of the chokehold complaints that the agency receives are ever substantiated, the number of complaints has been rising. Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Like so many New Yorkers I was very troubled by the video,” referring to a bystander's recording of the incident, which was posted on the website of the New York Daily News. The two police officers who initially confronted Garner have been temporarily taken off patrol duty. Two paramedics and two emergency medical technicians involved in the incident were placed on desk duty yesterday during the investigation of the case, the Wall Street Journal reported.