5 years after Eric Garner's death, New York law would make it illegal for police to use chokeholds

Adam Warner
September 21, 2019 - 2:41 pm
Al Sharpton

Kena Betancur/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The use of chokeholds by New York police would become illegal if a new bill sponsored by a state senator passes.

The Rev. Al Sharpton invited members of the Eric Garner family to the National Action Network in Harlem on Saturday to show their support for the measure, which has been dubbed the “Eric Garner chokehold law.”

Sharpton says it is needed because the current ban on its use by the police commissioner does not have the rule of law behind it.

“One of the commitments we made early is that we wanted to change the law. The chokehold decision of policy in the City of New York is not a law, it is a policy,” Sharpton said.

State Sen. Brian Benjamin is the sponsor of the bill. He says he expects major pushback from police unions like the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the NYPD's largest union.

The bill is named after Garner, who died in 2014 while being subdued by former NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was fired by the NYPD last month. Pantaleo is suing the department.

“We’re not anti-police, we’re anti-police brutality,” Sharpton said at Saturday’s event.

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