On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York City, after a New York City Police Department officer put him in what has been described as a chokehold for about 15 to 19 seconds while arresting him.
A chokehold, choke, stranglehold or, in Judo, shime-waza is a general term for a grappling hold that critically reduces or prevents either air or blood from passing through the neck of an opponent.
The New York City Police Department, officially the City of New York Police Department, is the largest municipal police force in the United States.
The City of New York, often called New York City, New York, or simply The City, is the most populous city in the United States.
Original Eric Garner fatal arrest video by New York Daily News
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office attributed Garner's death to a combination of a chokehold, compression of his chest, and poor health.
Unseen Video Of Eric Garner Death - NYPD chokehold by RIP Eric Garner
NYPD policy prohibits the use of chokeholds.
NYPD officers approached Garner on suspicion of selling "loosies" from packs without tax stamps.
A loosie also spelled loosey is a single cigarette that is purchased or sold.
After Garner told the police that he was tired of being harassed and that he was not selling cigarettes, the officers went to arrest Garner.
When officer Daniel Pantaleo tried to take Garner's wrist behind his back, Garner pulled his arms away.
Pantaleo then put his arm around Garner's neck and took him down onto the ground.
After Pantaleo removed his arm from Garner's neck, he pushed the side of Garner's face into the ground while four officers moved to restrain Garner, who repeated "I can't breathe" eleven times while lying facedown on the sidewalk.
After Garner lost consciousness, officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing.
Garner remained lying on the sidewalk for seven minutes while the officers waited for an ambulance to arrive.
The officers and EMTs did not perform CPR on Garner at the scene; according to a spokesman for the PBA, this was because they believed that Garner was breathing and that it would be improper to perform CPR on someone who was still breathing.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is an emergency procedure that combines chest compression often with artificial ventilation in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person who is in cardiac arrest.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital approximately one hour later.
The medical examiner concluded that Garner was killed by "compression of neck, compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police."
No damage to Garner's windpipe or neck bones was found.
The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide.
Homicide occurs when one human being causes the death of another.
According to the medical examiner's definition, a homicide is a death caused by the intentional actions of another person or persons, which is not necessarily an intentional death or a criminal death.
On December 3, 2014, the Richmond County grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo.
A grand jury is a legal body that is empowered to conduct official proceedings to investigate potential criminal conduct and to determine whether criminal charges should be brought.
On that day, the United States Department of Justice announced it would conduct an independent investigation.
The United States Department of Justice, also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.
The event stirred public protests and rallies, with charges of police brutality made by protesters.
It is one of several forms of police misconduct, which include: false arrest; intimidation; racial profiling; political repression; surveillance abuse; sexual abuse; and police corruption.
By December 28, 2014, at least 50 demonstrations had been held nationwide specifically for Garner while hundreds of demonstrations against general police brutality counted Garner as a focal point.