Crazy world we live in. Some man just stabbed 4 people one car away from me on the train pic.twitter.com/DVTdiVJ5w4— Chris Maynard (@Chris__Maynard) December 6, 2014
According to the medical examiner who performed his autopsy, Eric Garner’s death could be partially attributed to the chokehold in which he was placed by Officer Daniel Pantaleo, as well as to the pressure applied to Garner's chest. Chokeholds were banned by the New York City Police Department in 1993, although the tactic is not prohibited by New York City law -- or at least not yet (a bill has been introduced in the New York City Council that would make chokeholds illegal).
Some law enforcement experts argue that the chokehold is safe when done properly, and can be useful in subduing an assailant. Applied incorrectly or to a person who is under the influence of drugs or has a medical condition, however, and neck restraints can quickly become dangerous. Garner, for example, had asthma, heart disease and was obese, which the medical examiner said all were factors in his death.
Despite being prohibited by the NYPD, chokeholds are still used by police throughout the city. The 1993 ban prohibits officers from applying any pressure to the neck, but a report from the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board found that judges in internal trial proceedings have weakened the definition of a chokehold, narrowing the definition to a hold that restricts breathing.
In the last five years, complaints that an officer used the banned restraint have been concentrated in primarily black neighborhoods. The CCRB says it "is not in a position to further explain how these factors could be determinant," but their report recommends a task force or study group be created to look specifically at information from precincts with a higher number of chokehold complaints.
Pantaleo had been on the force for eight years when he put Garner in a chokehold -- the average length of time an officer has served when involved in a chokehold complaint is 7.9 years. The data indicate officers who are less experienced and male are more likely to be involved in excessive force complaints.
Hampton University stands up with a purpose. Be the change that you wish to see in the world. Don't let anybody stop you from making a difference. #hamptonuniversity #handsupdontshoot #blacklivesmatter
A video posted by goziii (@ngwagwa) on Dec 12, 2014 at 12:51pm PST
We had a new luxury car & were driving in Iowa. Cop pulled us over, demanded to know what my parents did for a living. #alivewhileblack— Markeya Thomas (@MarkeyaThomas) December 4, 2014
Went to police station to report that a white man had sexually assaulted me. Was lectured about how I could ruin his life. #AliveWhileBlack— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) December 4, 2014
#AliveWhileBlack that time the store clerk in Crabtree & Evelyn call cops because I shopped too slowly. 29 & a postdoctoral fellow— R.A. Scientist (@CoquiTalksTrash) December 4, 2014
My mother, a registered nurse, has had patients try to refuse care from her because of the color of her skin and her accent #alivewhileblack— kelz (@kelechialways) December 4, 2014
Got into an ivy league school with a 3.9 GPA. Told it was affirmative action by a legacy kid who's parents are donors #alivewhileblack— Christina Blacken (@CBlacken) December 4, 2014
rental car broke down during a BAD rainstorm police accused me of stealing the car left me in the rain to run the plates #alivewhileblack— lovelyti (@lovelyti) December 4, 2014
Can't count number of times I've made appointments to see apartments, arrived, and been told there are no more apartments #alivewhileblack— Alexis G. Stodghill (@lexisb) December 4, 2014
I've been "complimented" on almost every job interview by employers that were so "surprised at how well spoken I am". #alivewhileblack— Ace Chapman (@Ac3ofSpad3s) December 4, 2014
My dad & I were pulled over after leaving an open house in affluent neighborhood. Questioned why we'd want to move there. #alivewhileblack— Christalyn Solomon (@ChristalynPR) December 4, 2014
Cop stops me for going 45 on a 40 zone. Asks why I was speeding, Told him I was on my way to law school. Cop laughs. #alivewhileblack— The Raisin Man (RKM) (@RealDealRaisi_K) December 4, 2014
Watched my dad get stopped without cause by cops for driving a "nice car" when I was a child. #alivewhileblack— jamiaw (@jamiaw) December 4, 2014
3rd grade when some1 wrote "niger" on a piece of paper & put it in my desk. Was asked what I did to make some1 write that. #alivewhileblack— Robert Mitchell (@RLM_3) December 4, 2014
Those police asked where I live. When I pointed behind me at my house where they had called me from they said "no, really"