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Eric Garner’s family wants to force Mayor de Blasio and police commissioner into testifying about his chokehold death

2019-08-27

The New York Daily News exclusive video captures the final fatal moments of Eric Garner during an arrest attempt in Staten Island on July 17, 2014.

Eric Garner’s family wants to force Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD’s top cop into testifying about his 2014 chokehold death in police custody.

Garner’s mother, sister and activists are accusing de Blasio, Police Commissioner James O’Neill and other city officials of neglecting their duty in the handling of his death on Staten Island, according to the Associated Press.

Hizzoner and officials would be questioned under penalty of perjury if members of Garner’s family are successful.

A petition being filed Tuesday in state court asks for a proceeding during which city officials like de Blasio and O’Neill can be grilled about matters involving alleged official misconduct.

Last week O’Neill fired Officer Daniel Pantaleo for using a prohibited and fatal chokehold on Garner during an arrest attempt. A sergeant also agreed to give up vacation time to resolve her own disciplinary case.

Garner’s family says officials should have done more and that other officers involved in the botched arrest should be punished.

“The police department conducted a fair and impartial investigation into this matter, including holding a public trial,” de Blasio spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said. “For the first time, officers were held accountable.”

The NYPD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Garner, 43, died July 20, 2014 as several Staten Island cops were trying to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. As cops including Pantaleo brought him to the ground, a distressed Garner said “I can’t breathe” 11 times. The incident was captured on cellphone video obtained by the Daily News, and helped spur the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.