The family of the Staten Island man, who died after a group of New York Police Department officers tackled him, with one putting him in a chokehold, announced that they plan to name the city, police department and eight individual officers in a $75 million 'wrongful death' lawsuit.
Eric Garner’s wife Esaw Snipes, their six children and his mother, Gwen Carr, announced the pending lawsuit to city Controller Scott Stringer yesterday. The civil suit will include claims that police violated 43-year-old Garner’s civil rights by "negligently and recklessly" placing him in an NYPD-banned chokehold while arresting him in July for selling bootleg cigarettes (July 17). The suit also lists the NYPD’s “negligent” hiring and training practices partly responsible for Garner’s death, which has since been ruled a homicide. Stringer has said his office received the lawsuit and it’s currently under review.
Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose hands were around Garner’s neck in the chokehold, has since been striped of his badge and gun, but he along with his partner Justin D'Amico as well as Officers Craig Furlani, Christopher Maldonado, William Meems, Mark Ramos and two yet-to-be-identified cops will be named as defendants in the suit. Pantaleo and D'Amico have also been taken off the street and put on modified duty.
The chokehold is considered an illegal move to use in an arrest in New York and is defined by the NYPD as "any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air," but according to new reports, the move has been used more this year than in a decade.
In related news, attorney Sanford Rubenstein will no longer represent the family — he stepped down after a woman accused him of rape. How convenient!?!
Rubenstein, who denies any criminal conduct, has not been arrested or charged, but pulled out because he wanted to make sure the Garner family pushed case forward without any outside interference.