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Former NYPD Commissioner: Garner Caused His Own Death By Resisting Arrest

"I don’t care if he had a weapon or not. He still has to comply with the order. He has to comply. That’s the law."

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Former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik lambasted those who claim that race played a role in Eric Garner's death on a Staten Island sidewalk last summer, saying Garner's death is the result of resisting arrest.

"I don't care what color he was. The bottom line is, he resisted arrest, a lawful arrest, that resistance escalated, the use of force by the officer escalated -- which resulted ultimately, and tragically, in his death," Kerik said in an interview with J.D. Hayworth of NewsmaxTV.

Kerik, who is under supervised release following a three-year stint in federal prison on eight felony charges, said he had seen the video taken of the incident, and what he saw was a man "resisting lawful arrest."

"I don't care if he had a weapon or not. He still has to comply with the order. He has to comply. That's the law. And the officer has the right to use force to put him in handcuffs. If you watch the video, even when he's on the ground, even when he has three officers around him, even when he has the guy on the back of him, holding him – he's still resisting. He's still not complying."

"So what are they supposed to do at that point? They're supposed to let him go? Get up and say 'Hey, dude, you know what? You're just too big for us, you're too strong. We're gonna let you go. You can go break the law all you want, and we'll go about our business. That's not the way it works."

Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Ilan Ben-Meir at

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