Republican lawmakers Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) claimed this week that Eric Garner died due to his poor health and a cigarette tax, but even those bizarre explanations don't explain why NYPD officers and EMT workers didn't offer immediate medical aid to Garner after he was choked to the ground.
A second video (below) shows the aftermath of the choking incident.
According to the New York Daily News, Garner lay unconscious on the street for several minutes while officers cuffed him and kept their hands on him, but did not administer any type of lifesaving aid, even though bystanders said Garner needed help.
After bystanders asked if there was an ambulance coming, the cops told them to back away, but no one was obstructing the police officers.
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Democracy Now (video below) notes one female bystander said to the police: "Oh, now you’re saying give him space, when you’re the ones who took him down. Where are the EMTs? Where’s the emergency workers?"
When EMT Nicole Palmeri arrived, she checked Garner’s pulse and reportedly said to him: “Sir. It’s EMS. C’mon. We’re here to help, all right. We’re here to help you. We’re getting the stretcher. All right?”
Palmeri then walked away, reports the New York Daily News, without giving Garner aid.
A bystander asked, "Why nobody do no CPR?” and a second bystander added, "Nobody did nothing.”
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An unidentified NYPD officer responded, “Because he’s breathing.”
Five NYPD officers lifted Garner onto a gurney and loaded him into an ambulance where he died.
At one point, Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who choked Gardner, waves at the person filming the gruesome scene.
The New York Times reports today that Officer Pantaleo told the grand jury that he didn't intend to use a chokehold, which is banned by the NYPD, but rather a wrestling move.
Officer Pantaleo admitted he heard Garner say, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” but claimed that because Garner was able to speak that was an indication he could breathe.
However, there are numerous potentially fatal medical conditions that occur when someone is having trouble breathing, noted The New York Times, including heart failure, which is what Garner died from.