The New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association issued a press release late last week stating that the autopsy report on the death of Eric Garner “demonstrates conclusively that Mr. Garner did not die of strangulation of the neck from a chokehold which would have caused a crushed larynx (windpipe) and a fractured hyoid bone.”
The PBA said further that the report notes that Garner’s windpipe and hyoid bone were both intact.
PBA President Pat Lynch said in a statement, “This case demonstrates the danger that is inherent in pre-judging incidents absent all of the information that must be considered in order to come to a truthful and accurate conclusion. The death of Eric Garner was tragic and we feel for the family’s loss, but there has been a false narrative built against PO Pantaleo by the emotion on the street instead of the facts. Sadly, Mr. Garner’s health was so poor that it is highly likely that if he had decided to flee police instead of fighting them, the end result would have been the same. The exertion and stress would have overcome his already seriously ill body and would have resulted in his death.”
The autopsy report was made available to attorneys involved in the disciplinary case against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is accused of strangling Garner to death in 2014.
When trial dates were announced late last week, protesters gathered outside of police headquarters, chanting “Pantaleo has got to go.”
That proceeding is expected to begin in May 2019. As many as 26 witnesses are expected to be a part of the trial, half from the prosecution and half to be called from Pantaleo’s defense.
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