Officer in Eric Garner case: I never used chokehold

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

From Shimon Prokupecz


NEW YORK (CNN) — Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who a New York grand jury decided not to indict in the death of Eric Garner, spoke with internal affairs investigators about the case this week.

“He indicated he never used a chokehold,” said Stuart London, Pantaleo’s attorney. “He used a takedown technique he was taught in the academy. He said he never exerted any pressure on the windpipe and never intended to injure Mr. Garner.”

London said Pantaleo had been trying to arrest “someone who was noncompliant.” Speaking to investigators about the case on Monday, “he was confident and related the facts in an accurate and professional manner,” London said.

Garner died in July after Pantaleo and other officers tried to arrest Garner, who they said was suspected of illegally selling cigarettes.

A cell phone video of the arrest shows Pantaleo wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. New York’s police commissioner announced shortly afterward that officers would undergo a three-day retraining period on the proper use of force when engaging a suspect.

The controversial case has ignited protests across the country after the grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo last week. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” have become a rallying cry during demonstrations. Critics say Pantaleo should have been indicted and say the case highlights problems in the criminal justice system.

The police internal affairs investigation aims to determine whether Pantaleo violated department policy. The New York Police Department prohibits use of chokeholds

New York Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the investigation, which had been on hold during the criminal investigation, is expected to take at least three months.

Investigators started interviewing other officers who witnessed the incident on Friday.

CNN’s Jason Carroll and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • bob

    “Pressure on the windpipe” is not what causes unconsciousness. It’s pressure on the jugular veins and carotids.

    But the guy didn’t die directly from the choke hold. He died of a heart attack, itself caused by an asthma attack, which was triggered by stress and exertion. (All of which was related to his being morbidly obese.)

    He was not “resisting.” He could not physically get his hands together behind his back because he was too fat.

    He also had THIRTY arrests on his record, and multiple felony convictions. In fact, if he’d lived in the Liberal Capital of the World, California, he would have already been serving life in prison under the Three Strikes law.

    Nobody was innocent here. Not the HISPANIC and BLACK cops who did it. Not the “victim” himself, who chose to be a career criminal AND a fatso.

    Incidentally, “untaxed cigarettes” come from the MAFIA, whose street level thugs hijack the shipments, leaving a trail of bodies behind them. It’s been a bread-and butter, everyday racket for the Mob for decades. At least dating back to the 1950s. Peddling them on the street is not a “victimless crime”, or “no big deal”, or even “something he HAD to do because of high taxes” as Rand Paul absurdly suggested. It’s a big deal. And it’s illegal. The man could have got a job.

    • miles (dave)

      this is great important information “for which you dont need a phd in medicine to know”. where can i go to read this information for my self?…… actually maybe ill go to the wiki to see if its there. but i would still like to take a look at your source please.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.