NYC Officials Announce $5.9 Million Settlement for Eric Garner’s Estate

Eric Garner

NYC officials have announced a $5.9 million settlement in the choking death of Eric Garner.

Garner’s estate, which filed a claim against the city in October 2014 for damages related to his death, will be paid the settlement amount, according to a city official.

“Following a judicious review of the claim and facts of this case, my office was able to reach a settlement with the estate of Eric Garner that is in the best interests of all parties,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, whose office is charged with settling claims against the city.

The fatal encounter, which was captured on video by an onlooker on July 17, shows Garner being stopped by police for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. After arguing his case and pleading to be left alone, police moved in on Garner as he raised both hands and told them not to touch him. One officer reached for Garner’s hand before another put him in a choke-hold seconds later.

Garner was taken to the ground, and NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo maintained the choke-hold even as the man cried out, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” over and over again.

The cries eventually stopped, and those were the last words Garner ever spoke.

“We are all familiar with the events that led to the death of Eric Garner and the extraordinary impact his passing has had on our City and our nation,” said Stringer. “It forced us to examine the state of race relations, and the relationship between our police force and the people they serve.”

The officer responsible for the deadly, illegal choke hold was not indicted in Garner’s death. Stringer said that while the multi-million dollar settlement “acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr. Garner’s death… the city has not admitted liability.”

Eric Garner’s family will hold a Tuesday morning press conference at the National Action Network in New York.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)