City officials tell ABC News that 4 EMS workers who work for Richmond University Medical Center have been placed on modified duty while the response to the death of Eric Garner is being reviewed.
The workers can still earn their salaries, but are temporarily barred from responding to emergency calls. The EMS workers are employees of the hospital-run ambulance service that responded to the call. Their names
Earlier, the NYPD took the gun and badge away from the officer who placed Eric Garner in a chokehold during an arrest attempt on Staten Island.
The NYPD announced Saturday night that Officer Daniel Pantaleo, an 8-year veteran, was been placed on “modified assignment,” pending the outcome of the dual probes by the district attorney and Internal Affairs.
Garner, who was black, was confronted by police trying to arrest him on suspicion of selling untaxed, loose cigarettes on a Staten Island sidewalk, authorities said. The 6-foot-3, 350-pound Garner became irate, denying the charges and refusing to be handcuffed before one of the officers placed him in what Bratton said appeared to be a chokehold, according to partial video of the encounter obtained by the New York Daily News.
“As defined in the departments patrol guide, this would appear to have been a chokehold. But the investigation both by the district attorney’s office and our internal affairs will seek to make that final determination as part of our investigation,” said Bratton. He said the two officers involved have been moved to desk duty while the investigation continues.
The tactic, which can be fatal, is prohibited by departmental policy.
In the video, Garner, who has been arrested for selling illegal cigarettes numerous times in recent years, says he hasn’t done anything wrong.
“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today,” Garner shouts. “I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone.”
As four officers bring him down, Garner is heard gasping, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” The video shows one officer using his hands to push Garner’s face into the sidewalk.
Garner’s family, along with Sharpton and his National Action Network, claim Garner repeatedly said he could not breathe while officers used excessive force to hold him down. Then he fell unconscious. Garner went into cardiac arrest and was transported by EMS to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Prosecutors and internal affairs detectives are investigating the death of the father of six and grandfather of two; authorities believe he suffered a heart attack. De Blasio has called the circumstances of his death “very troubling.”
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Garner, who died yesterday afternoon while being placed in police custody. We have a responsibility to keep every New Yorker safe, and that includes when individuals are in custody of the NYPD,” he said in a statement. “That is a responsibility that Police Commissioner Bratton and I take very seriously. We are harnessing all resources available to the City to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the circumstances of this tragic incident. The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau is working closely with the Office of the Richmond County District Attorney, which is leading this investigation.”
More tests are needed to determine the exact cause and manner of Garner’s death, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said.
The mayor’s commissioner for community affairs attended the rally and stressed the administration’s commitment to strengthening police and community relations.
“We’ve said from the beginning: Police work best when they have the respect from the community,” Marco Carrion said, adding that it’s an ongoing process to try to improve the relationship between the NYPD and various communities.
Witnesses claim Garner, known as Biggie, had just broken up a fight. Although his family says he often did sell loose cigarettes to make money. He was unable to work because of asthma and diabetes.
Garner’s death evoked memories of a similar incident 20 years ago that likewise sparked outrage.
Police officer Francis Livoti was dismissed from the NYPD and convicted by a federal jury of violating the civil rights of a Bronx man who died after Livoti apparently used a chokehold on him in 1994. Livoti has denied he used a chokehold, insisting Anthony Baez died from an asthma attack. The case remains one of the most high-profile allegations of police brutality in city history.
A funeral for Garner, who went by the nickname Big E, will be held Wednesday at the Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Another rally on Staten Island is planned for Saturday afternoon.
Source: 7 online.com