New York City to Pay $5.9 million to Family of Eric Garner

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Eric Garner and his wife-Esaw
Eric Garner and his wife-Esaw

The family of Eric Garner has settled with New York City for $5.9 million to resolve the claim over Eric’s death— Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold by New York City police last July.

Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, was accused of illegally selling cigarettes on a sidewalk when Pantaleo put him in the chokehold from behind and brought him to the ground with the help of other officers.

The video of Garner’s arrest shows him arguing with officers before Pantaleo put him in the banned maneuver. With officers holding him down, Garner pleaded with them, saying repeatedly: “I can’t breathe.”

The city medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, finding that officers compressed his neck and chest. Health problems, which included asthma and obesity, were contributing factors in his death, the medical examiner found.

Eric Garner’s death, along with the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Missouri, last August by a white police officer, sparked nationwide protest in United States by people outraged over police treatment of African Americans.

“No sum of money can make this family whole, but hopefully the Garner family can find some peace and finality from today’s settlement,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. He added, “by reaching a resolution, family and other loved ones can move forward even though we know they will never forget this tragic incident.”

The settlement comes after Garner’s family filed a claim in October seeking $75 million in damages from the city—and according to the Garner’s family lawyer-Jonathan Moore, “a separate settlement was reached with the hospital that employed emergency medical technicians who responded to the scene and did not aid Garner.”

The settlement ends litigation against New York City but that does not end the case as the family lawyer has stated that “we will continue to press for a federal prosecution against the officers involved in the death of Mr. Garner.”


GC Staff Sw