NYPD report claimed chokehold victim Eric Garner “was not in great distress”


April V. Taylor

The video of NYPD officers placing Eric Garner in an illegal chokehold and his subsequent death has gone viral, sparking outrage across the country.  While many have responded with anger, what may make many even more angry is finding out that a preliminary internal report obtained by the New York Daily News makes no mention of the illegal chokehold.  To make matters worse, not only does the report fail to mention Garner’s repeated statements about not being able to breathe, the report states that he was not in “great distress.”

Officers appear to have coordinated a cover-up of any incriminating details.  Upon being questioned, Sgt. Dhanan Saminath stated that officers had Garner in cuffs, “maintaining control of him” and that he “did not appear to be in great distress.”  Sgt. Kizzy Adonis echoed Saminath’s sentiments stating, “the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and that he did not appear to get worse.”  Additional statements from the report include that Garner resisted arrest and that Garner became unresponsive while being handcuffed but that he was observed breathing.  Again, no mention of the illegal chokehold is made.  The report also states that Garner allegedly did not go into cardiac arrest until he was placed on a stretcher by EMTs.

Witnesses to Garner’s arrest give an account that is much more violent than the one given by officers.  Witness Taisha Allen states that she saw officers strike Garner in the head and shoulder after he was already on the ground and telling officers that he could not breathe.  Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio felt that what occurred was not quite as simple as the officers had stated after reviewing video of the incident.  De Blasio states, “As an individual who’s no expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me.”

Two of the officers involved have been put on desk duty while an internal investigation is conducted.  In addition, two EMTs and two paramedics have been suspended without pay.  The possibility of a criminal investigation is still pending.


  1. It’s “simple” they’ve filed a FALSE report to make more matters worse…. Plus they’re no experts on respiratory failure…. Unlike the “Central Park ” rapist trial it will be interesting to see how many (corrupt) officials who touches this murder will publicly put their reputation on the line and hope their names and careers will become stain free… Citizens should stop allowing these pensions and unions going corruption free… Who’s going to red flag corrupt officials? JUDGES? PROSECUTORS?… What citizens (man, woman & child) can witness an murder 1st hand and still play into the hands of deception & corruption?… If so no priest, preacher, cop, or judge should put their hands on a Bible… He should’ve been arrested in the 1st place on FALSE charges and a unfound STASH of loose cigarettes…. resisting arres?…, resisting tyranny!… they got the virtual law enforcement game set on EASY, lie cheat steal but never lose… Six children and two grandchildren, … falsely arrested & died for lose cigarettes he didn’t even have…

  2. The thing that has to be understood the question is not of a illegal choke-hold or any such thing, because enough Black have been shot by the police. The question is racist state repression and the nature of American fascism and the school to prison pipeline. Mr Eric Garner was dead when he was on the ground and the police and the EMS spoke to him as if he was alive. The courts will hold up this lie and rationalize this was a tragic accident of wrong training of police officers and the choke hold. At this point people can’t be pulled into waiting for an investigation that has to be charges “now” against the police officers, felony assault 1+2 degree, 2nd degree murder, homicidal criminal neglect. And let a court trial go through an investigation process. CHARGES NOW!

  3. Hard to exhibit distress when you are already dead. May the sins of all these people who perpetrated this crime of murder, be visited upon your children

  4. Where is the BPP when you need them. I believe that the BPP, should be at whatever trial there is just in case there is an acquittal. And if there is, someone needs to pay. We must not allow this to go un-punished. Not this one yall. I really mean it. If we allow this to go un-punished, all bets are off. This is a case of the most egregious abuse of police power. If you can see a man, not doing anything to threaten police. If you can see police choking a man to death, when there is not even evidence for an arrest. If you can see police pretending that a man is alive, when he is clearly on the ground un-responsive. If all of that is apparent and the police still gets off Scott free, with no jail time and not losing their job, then Black people might as well lock themselves in their homes and only leave out to go to work. And when you go to work, you better not speak to anyone, don’t look at anyone, don’t argue, don’t do anything except act like what they want you to act like. A Slave from the 1800s. Where is the TRUE Black Panther Party

  5. The cops didn’t murder Eric Garner. Had he not been disrespecting police officers and had he not resisted arrest, he’d be alive today. Black males, of all ages, will never learn how to behave. Whether in public or at home, they will cause chaos. As usual, the majority of the (so-called) witnesses are gonna say Eric wasn’t doing anything wrong. It’s the same old song. His friends and family will state how great of a man, father, and grandfather Eric was. Puh-leez! No decent black man has an extensive criminal record nor do they do anything illegal to provide for their families. Eric Garner’s dead because of Eric Garner’s stupidity, arrogance, and mentality.

    • NYNY: I assume by “extensive criminal record” you are referring to previous arrests for selling loosie cigarettes (roughly equivalent to parking tickets). If you honestly think that is justification to choke someone to death, you are more stupid than your previous post would imply.

      Personally, I do not think that arguing your innocence (without being violent) should necessitate someone being choked unconscious. Racist cops and asses like yourself whom make comments like “Black males, of all ages, will never learn how to behave. Whether in public or at home, they will cause chaos.” are the reason why these incidents continue to happen over and over throughout this country. You are sickening.

  6. The spin has started. He’s referred to as “the perpetrator” so he’s automatically the criminal who causes his own death. Justice is walking away from this situation, the only thing that will make it go away faster is another major news event the media can play in a loop and he’ll be forgotten by all except his loved ones. There’s a history of no justice for blacks and NYPD won’t start now

  7. Michael: By extensive criminal history, I mean drug possession and disorderly conduct. Selling cigarettes is against the law. Didn’t you know that? There are store owners who receive fines for selling untaxed cigarettes. Some businesses are even closed down. And you wanna compare it to parking tickets. Please! And yes, black feral males are a real pain. People have noticed the violent behavior of black males. If you haven’t then you’ve been living under a rock. Black males, of all ages, have been crying racism and discrimination for years. But that’s what they say in order to excuse their own violent behavior. Police have no choice but to put them in their place.

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