The administration of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is officially still investigating the death of a Staten Island man after police placed a chokehold on him.
But late last week, a lawyer for the administration took to Twitter to express frustration over death of the man, Eric Garner.
Garner died after he was placed in a chokehold by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, a tactic prohibited by the NYPD Patrol Guide; he was stopped by police after they accused him of illegally selling cigarettes. In the gruesome video of the incident, captured by bystanders, Garner tells the police, “I can’t breathe.”
“RIP Eric Garner,” tweeted Ian Bassin, a deputy counsel to the mayor. “You deserved so much more from our City. We will and we must do better.”
Maya Wiley, a counsel for the administration, also tweeted quotes and information from a press conference given by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and de Blasio on July 18.
“#NYPD banned choke holds by policy. Commish Bratton says ‘appears’ to be violation of policies. #EricGarner,” she wrote, which has been retweeted 83 times.
The New York City Law Department declined to comment on the record for this story, but a spokesperson pointed out via email that Wiley was quoting Bratton like others in the room or watching online.
Since Garner’s death, Pantaleo, the police officer who placed Garner in the chokehold, has been put on “desk duty,” while emergency medical technicians who responded to the incident have been suspended.
While on vacation in Rome, de Blasio said Monday he wanted to wait for the investigation to pan out before passing judgment on the situation.
“As an individual who’s no expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me,” he said.