In response to defense attorney Stuart London’s attempt to use NYPD Chief Surgeon Eli Kleinman’s review of the NYPD killing of Eric Garner as evidence that Officer Daniel Pantaleo did not use a chokehold when killing Garner, the Justice Committee released the following statement from Co-Director Loyda Colon:
Defense Attorney Stuart London’s use of the NYPD chief surgeon’s so-called “finding” regarding Eric Garner’s killing - like London’s failed attempt to claim the Civilian Complaint Review Board doesn’t have jurisdiction over this case – is nothing but a Hail Mary. It is a bogus defense meant to blame Garner for his own murder and distract from the truth of what really occurred on July 17, 2014.
One has only to watch the video of Garner’s death – which has been viewed worldwide – to see this for what it is: the NYPD protecting the NYPD and London pulling his usual tricks in his defense of a killer cop.
At the time of Garner’s murder, the NYPD patrol guide stated, “A chokehold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.” By 2014, the NYPD had already banned the use of chokeholds for two decades.
The City Medical Examiner found that Garner he died from his injuries, including neck compression caused by a chokehold. An independent review of the autopsy by Doctor Michael Baden confirmed this.
Our eyes do not lie. The autopsy did not lie. This was a chokehold, plain and simple. Pantaleo and multiple other officers used excessive force when pouncing on Garner, dragging him by his neck to the ground, and holding him there even as he said “I can’t breathe” eleven times. As a result, Eric Garner is dead and his mother and family have been forced to fight for answers, accountability, and justice for years while the NYPD, Mayor de Blasio, and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association have done everything in their power to shield the abusive officers involved.