EXCLUSIVE: Internal NYPD report on incident with Staten Island dad Eric Garner does not mention chokehold, states he was not ‘in great distress’
Supervising officers who were interviewed after Eric Garner’s death failed to mention the chokehold and told investigators that ‘the perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious,’ a preliminary report obtained by the Daily News shows. A recording captures officers violently taking down Garner on Thursday as he cries that he can’t breathe.
See no evil, hear no evil.
Cops heard Eric Garner cry that he couldn’t breathe, a recording captured officers violently taking him to the ground and even Mayor de Blasio said he believes the asthmatic father of six was put in a chokehold.
But an NYPD internal report prepared right after his death on Staten Island last Thursday plays down the incident, with supervising officers failing to note the chokehold and insisting Garner was not in “great distress.”
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.”
Despite those words, Adonis also said she “believed she heard the perpetrator state that he was having difficulty breathing,” the report states.
A witness who talked to investigators told of a more violent scene.
Taisha Allen, 36, said she saw the two officers take Garner “by the arms and put him on the ground” and that he “struck his head and shoulder on the ground and was telling the officers he couldn’t breathe.”
She also said an officer in a green shirt — Daniel Pantaleo — “had his knee on Mr. Garner’s back and was ordering him to put his hands behind his back.” He’s the officer who appears to put Garner in a chokehold while taking him down.
Even from Italy, de Blasio said he was fairly sure what transpired.
“As an individual who’s no expert in law enforcement, it looked like a chokehold to me,” de Blasio told reporters.
He said he didn’t want to comment on what he thought should happen to the officers involved.
“I … emphasize that you need a full investigation, because all sides need to be heard and all evidence looked at,” he said.
Videos of the incident show Garner telling police he can’t breathe — and then show him on the ground for several minutes, apparently unconscious and unresponsive to police commands.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, 65, told The News she’s relieved there were recordings so cops couldn’t cover up what happened.
“I don’t want him to have died in vain,” she said. “As people see, it’s just a godsend that we have the video. Just look at the tape.”