AFRICANGLOBE – See no evil, hear no evil.
Cops heard Eric Garner cry that he couldn’t breathe, a recording captured officers violently taking him to the ground and even Mayor de Blasio said he believes the asthmatic father of six was put in a chokehold.
But an NYPD internal report prepared right after his death on Staten Island last Thursday plays down the incident, with supervising officers failing to note the chokehold and insisting Garner was not in “great distress.”
Sgt. Dhanan Saminath told interviewers that the 43-year-old was in cuffs with cops “maintaining control of him” and that he “did not appear to be in great distress,” the preliminary report obtained by reporters shows.
Sgt. Kizzy Adonis told investigators probing the death that “the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and that he did not appear to get worse.”
Despite those words, Adonis also said she “believed she heard the perpetrator state that he was having difficulty breathing,” the report states.
A witness who talked to investigators told of a more violent scene.
Taisha Allen, 36, said she saw the two officers take Eric Garner “by the arms and put him on the ground” and that he “struck his head and shoulder on the ground and was telling the officers he couldn’t breathe.”
She also said an officer in a green shirt — Daniel Pantaleo — “had his knee on Mr. Garner’s back and was ordering him to put his hands behind his back.” He’s the officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold while arresting him.
Even from Italy, de Blasio who is supposed to be a liberal Democrat said he was fairly sure what transpired.
“As an individual who’s no expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me,” de Blasio told reporters.
He said he didn’t want to comment on what he thought should happen to the officers involved.
“I … emphasize that you need a full investigation, because all sides need to be heard and all evidence looked at,” he said.
Videos of the incident show Eric Garner telling police he can’t breathe while the officer strangled him — and then show him on the ground for several minutes unconscious and unresponsive to police commands.
Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, 65, told reporters she’s relieved there were recordings so cops couldn’t cover up what happened.
“I don’t want him to have died in vain,” she said. “As people see, it’s just a godsend that we have the video. Just look at the tape.”
Carr said she wants those responsible thrown in jail “just as they would had given my son if the shoe was on the other foot.”
Carr, heartbroken by her son’s death, also questioned why none of the cops or rescue workers on hand attempted CPR.
“It’s just a lack of humanity,” she said. “That’s what it was. He was nothing to them, but he was our people. He was just a big guy on the street.”
Witnesses told investigators that Eric Garner, who weighed 350 pounds, had just broken up a dispute when cops arrived and accused him of passing a cigarette to someone.
Eric Garner denied that he was illegally selling smokes as he was assaulted by the cops, the recording of the incident shows.
A source said the cops had to use three sets of handcuffs to secure Eric Garner. He was then loaded onto a stretcher and at some point, went into cardiac arrest, the report states.
A police source claimed cops found four full packs and one partial pack of Newports on Garner, who police claimed had a long history of selling cigarettes.
Pantaleo’s gun and shield were taken away and he and Officer Justin Damico were both put on desk duty pending the results of an internal investigation, police said.
Two EMTs and two paramedics have been suspended without pay, according to a Richmond University Medical Center spokeswoman. A source identified the EMTs as Nicole Palmeri and Stephanie Greenberg.
The internal NYPD report also points out that Damico, Pantaleo and two other cops were prevented from being interviewed for the preliminary report because of a possible criminal investigation.
The video shows at least a half dozen cops at the scene moments after the murder.
The medical examiner’s office claimed a preliminary study found no signs of asphyxiation.
The NYPD prohibited the use of chokeholds in 1993. The city’s independent police watchdog has substantiated 10 chokehold cases filed against cops since 2009, but little has happened to the officers involved, records show.
In one of the cases, the cop accused of putting a person in a chokehold lost up to 10 vacation days, records from the Civilian Complaint Review Board show.
In two cases, the department declined to discipline the officers, and in three cases, cops received “instructions,” or retraining. In another case, the cop retired before he could be disciplined, and the three remaining cases are pending, the records show.
About 24 hours after the incident, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said that it appeared that Eric Garner was put in a chokehold.
By: Edgaar Sandoval, Rocco Parascandola, Tina Moore
Eric Garner Strangled To Death By The NYPD the Denied Medical Attention By EMTs