NEW YORK (AP) – The medical examiner has ruled that a police officer’s chokehold on a New York City man last month caused his death.
Medical examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Friday that Eric Garner’s July 17 death was ruled a homicide.
Bolcer says his death was caused by “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” She says asthma and heart disease were contributing factors.
Garner, who is black, was being arrested for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. Video shows him being placed in a chokehold by a white officer.
The video has caused widespread outcry, and Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department is “closely monitoring” the investigation into his death.
The NYPD hasn’t responded to a request for comment on the medical examiner’s ruling.