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Widow: Man who died in NYPD custody wasn't violent

NEW YORK (AP) - The widow of a New York City man who died this month in a videotaped confrontation with New York City police demanded justice on Saturday, saying the victim wasn't asking for trouble.

Eric Garner "was not a violent man - not in any way, shape or form," said his widow, Esaw Garner, in what were described as her first public remarks about the death. "He was a quiet man, but he's making a lot of noise now."

She described getting a text from her 43-year-old husband a half hour before he died July 17 that read: "I'm good."

The widow and other members of Garner's family spoke at the Harlem headquarters of the Rev. Al Sharpton. On Friday, Sharpton and the family met with federal prosecutors to ask them to bring a civil rights case against the New York Police Department officers who stopped Garner on Staten Island on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes.

A video shot by an onlooker shows Garner telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed. One responded by appearing to put him in a chokehold, which is banned under police policy. Garner is heard gasping "I can't breathe." He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Autopsy results are pending.

The NYPD is investigating, Staten Island prosecutors have launched a criminal probe, the officer was placed on desk duty and other public safety workers involved have been pulled from the street. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also has said the Justice Department is "closely monitoring" the investigation into Garner's death.

"We want justice for my son. ... I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," said Garner's mother, Gwen Carr.

Police also confirmed Saturday that another officer has been placed on restricted duty after an amateur video surfaced that appears to show him stomping on the head of a Brooklyn drug suspect during a recent arrest.

In a statement, the president of the powerful Patrolmen's Association, cautioned against reading too much into the videos.

"Videotapes never present all of the facts in a situation," said Patrick Lynch. "They never capture the criminal act or offense that brings police action to the scene. They present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario."

The Garner family was joined Saturday by the fiance of Sean Bell, an unarmed man killed by NYPD officers in a 50-bullet barrage in 2006 on what would have been his wedding day. Three officers were cleared of manslaughter charges, but the city was forced to pay more than $7 million to settle a wrongful death claim.

"Seeing this family is like looking in the mirror," said Nicole Paultre Bell, who legally took his name after his death.

Sharpton told the audience he's planning to rally support for a federal probe by inviting activists from across the country to join in a march across the Varrazano-Narrows Bridge.

"We are not going to let this go," Sharpton said. "Can you imagine? A chokehold on videotape? If we can't get justice here, we can't get justice anywhere."

Join the discussion

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rjen164497 July 26 2014 at 6:56 PM

Tell me Shapton and the group aren't RACIST. Almost everything out of their mouths was RACIST. Sharpton was having another Twanda Brawley moment.

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4 replies
tinabauble July 26 2014 at 5:21 PM

"Videotapes never present all of the facts in a situation," said Patrick Lynch. "They never capture the criminal act or offense that brings police action to the scene. They present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario."
What?111 ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It means everything.. proof. that poor man. I hope you're NYPD. you bastards.

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3 replies
abie0828 July 26 2014 at 5:45 PM

There are a lot of jobs that require yearly random drug test. Why not the same for police, they carry guns, or does the union think too many would be fired?

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5 replies
rr837 July 26 2014 at 7:35 PM

What does this have to do with the price of apples.The IDIOT didn't follow the cops orders and THEN resisted arrest. White, Black or Purple, over 30 arrests and he resists??? .,,, WAKE UP DETRACTORS, HE was WRONG to RESIST, PERIOD!!!!!

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5 replies
MR weaver king July 26 2014 at 8:51 PM

most people dont get into things that get them choked he must have done something to get choked in the first place ,

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1 reply
iconmjf MR weaver king July 26 2014 at 11:50 PM

Yes he was guilty of being a large black man. With NYPD thats a dangerous as a bag of skittles and a hoodie in Florida.. You are not a smart person

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lockworks07 July 26 2014 at 8:00 PM

They murdered him.

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1 reply
cooltool50 lockworks07 July 27 2014 at 1:21 AM

Good thing he didn't have a dog, they would have shot it.......

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mhagerinteriors July 26 2014 at 9:19 PM

So my moral of story is this. Eric Garner is dead. He looked like a very nice person. He will never see his future grandchildren. He won't be there to help his wife feed those children. He will never experience another delicious meal or ocean visit. All that doesn't f______ matter BECAUSE HE FAILED to follow orders expediently. The bottom line is do what we say or you can DIE.
Personally, I think we should rework our entire prison, court, police systems. Too many wrongs happening. Rich people don't ONLY live in America, poor people do too. Tasers need to go, private prisons, need to go, police brutality needs to go. Oh, chokehold deaths need to go too.

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4 replies
bharrison777 July 26 2014 at 9:45 PM

He was not complying with the police officers and was resisting. Don't break the law and nothing happens.

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4 replies
jslatt July 26 2014 at 11:00 PM

OMG, there's a break in the case. The wife said he wasn't violent. Did the DOJ ask the wives of all the millions of violent prisoners in jail if their husbands were violent. Just think of all the non violent people that must be locked up.

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1 reply
brukr2 jslatt July 27 2014 at 10:30 AM

Not very funny though I'm sure you are trying to be. Watch the damm video and than make your comment. I just can't believe how many a**holes there are here on these comment sections.

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1 reply
ksm58 brukr2 July 27 2014 at 11:51 AM

I can't believe it either.

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no1chef99david July 26 2014 at 9:56 PM

"Videotapes never present all of the facts in a situation," "They present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario."
Call me blind BUt this video clearly show what happened I do not care what led up to the officers being called to the location I care what transpired during the actions. and this video is pretty clear

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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