A Staten Island man went into cardiac arrest and died in police custody on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
Eric Garner, 43, was seen selling untaxed cigarettes on Bay Street in Tompkinsville around 4:45 p.m., police said. When authorities attempted to arrest him for the violation, officials said he went into cardiac arrest.
Garner was taken to Richmond University Medical Center and pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.
Video obtained by the New York Daily News appears to show the asthmatic Garner being put into a chokehold by a cop during the arrest. Other police also appear to have slammed his head against the sidewalk.
"I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Garner is heard screaming, according to the video. Moments later, the married father of six and grandfather of two stopped shouting and seemed to become unconscious. The police then called the paramedics.
At the end of the video footage, the cop who put Garner in the chokehold looked at the camera, the Daily News reported.
"This had nothing to do with the fight, this had something to do with something else," the cop said, according to the Daily News.
Police have described Garner as heavy-set and said he had several past arrests.
NYPD Internal Affairs officers began investigating the incident on Thursday night. The medical examiner will determine Garner's cause of death.
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