As We Suspected: Attempted NYPD Coverup Of Eric Garner Chokehold Killing

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Bill Bratton's NYPD apparently tried to coverup the chokehold killing of Garner with falsified Police report and story disseminated to media

In my July 18 commentary "The Chokehold Death Of Eric Garner: How A Video Unspun NYPD's Spin," about the chokehold killing of Eric Garner by Police officer Daniel Pantaleo after he and several other NYPD officers confronted Eric Garner I criticized the "doctored" version of the incident that Police first fed the media, including The New York Times.

I noted that under the headline,  "Staten Island Man Dies After Police Try to Arrest Him," The New York Times ran a misleading article, based on the Police's falsified account, that read as follows:

"A Staten Island man died on Thursday after police officers tried to arrest him on the street not far from the Staten Island Ferry, the police said. The man, Eric Garner, 43, went into cardiac arrest as he was being placed into custody around 4:45 p.m. on Bay Street, across from Tompkinsville Park, the police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island. It was not immediately clear why Mr. Garner was being arrested, or if he had been in handcuffs at the time. The police said he had been arrested numerous times, mostly recently in May on charges of illegal cigarette sales. Mr. Garner weighed well over 300 pounds, the police said."

In my commentary, I wrote: "So the NYPD's original account, dutifully disseminated by The New York Times as if it was the public relations unit of the Police Department, did not contain any information that would incriminate the arresting cops in Garner's death. He just somehow 'went into cardiac arrest' and, the NYPD also made sure the Times became aware that he was, after all, 'well over 300 pounds..' suggesting that obesity may have caused his death absent any other factors."

In a follow up commentary I wrote on July 20, "NYPD Chokehold Death: No Attempt To Revive Eric Garner As He Dies," based on a second video that emerged of the incident, I criticized the callous and totally uncaring actions of the Officers involved in the chokehold incident as well as the EMS workers. The officers did nothing to try to revive Garner and I wrote that he did not appear to be alive even though the EMS worker claimed that he had a pulse.

I was so skeptical of the Police based on the falsified story first disseminated to the media as well as the actions of the officers and the EMS workers in the second video that I wrote: "Part of any investigation into Garner's death must look at the initial notes and report of the EMS workers, especially the female worker shown on the video, and the first NYPD report filed by officers that also formed the basis of the misleading account first disseminated by Police to media including The New York Times."

Well, lo and behold it turns out that the commentary was spot-on.

Yesterday The New York Daily News published an article under the self-explanatory headline,  "EXCLUSIVE: Internal NYPD report on incident with Staten Island dad Eric Garner does not mention chokehold, states he was not 'in great distress.'"

According to The Daily News's account:

Sgt. Dhanan Saminath told interviewers that the 43-year-old cigarette peddler was in cuffs with cops “maintaining control of him” and that he “did not appear to be in great distress,” the preliminary report obtained by the Daily News shows.

Sgt. Kizzy Adonis told investigators probing the death that “the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and that he did not appear to get worse.”

So not only was the Police report misleading by omitting reference to the chokehold, it was actually concocted to downplay the severity  of Garner's health and physical condition immediately after the incident. By omitting the chokehold then doctoring the report this means the Police department was prepared to argue that there had been no chokehold administered on Garner -- it dies not get more preposterous since several of the officers saw the incident being recorded.

Unless some of the officers were confident the recordings would never see light of day

In any event, we now need to know about the report on the incident written by the EMS workers.

Coverups are also part of the crime. 

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