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Tags: chokehold | grand jury | new york | police | garner

Rep. Peter King of NY: 'Asthma, Obesity' at Fault in Garner's Death

By    |   Thursday, 04 December 2014 08:19 AM EST

Rep. Peter King of New York took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon to thank a New York grand jury for not "yielding to outside pressure" to indict a white New York City police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes.

On CNN’s "The Situation Room," King defended the NYPD, saying that Garner’s size and underlying medical issues are why he died from the chokehold.

"You had a 350-pound person who was resisting arrest," King told host Wolf Blitzer. "The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible.

"If he had not had asthma, and a heart condition and was so obese, most definitely he would not have died from this. The police had no reason to know he had a serious condition."

King said reports that Garner repeatedly told the arresting officers that he couldn’t breathe did not raise a red flag because "the fact is, if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk."

"If you’ve ever seen anyone locked up, resisting arrest, and I’ve seen it and it's been white guys, and they’re always saying 'you’re breaking my arm, you’re choking me, you’re doing this.' Police hear that all the time.

"In this case, a chokehold was not illegal. It is against department regulations, but as you look carefully, I don’t think there was intent to put him in a chokehold because he does move the baton as he brings him down."

There is "not a hint" that the arrest was racially motivated, according to King, who points out that the senior officer on the scene was a black female sergeant.

He also said the police were in the predominantly African-American community neighborhood of Tompkinsville after being contacted by minority business owners there about Garner "constantly selling cigarettes outside their establishment and creating a problem."

No one has done more to save the lives of young African-Americans that the NYPD, King said, adding that both white and black police officers "put their lives on the lines everyday going into the toughest neighborhoods to protect them."

The Congressman took issue with President Barack Obama having civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who King referred to as an agitator, part of any discussion on race relations.

"If President Obama is serious about trying to bring racial peace to this country, the last thing he should be doing is having Al Sharpton sit in the White House," he said.

"When he says that people in the African-American community don’t trust police, one of the reasons is because agitators like Sharpton are constantly criticizing and attacking and denouncing the police before he has any idea what the facts are."

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Headline
Rep. Peter King of New York took to Twitter to thank a New York grand jury for not "yielding to outside pressure" to indict a white New York City police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, and said underlying medical problems contributed to his death.
chokehold, grand jury, new york, police, garner
497
2014-19-04
Thursday, 04 December 2014 08:19 AM
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