Updated 12:33 PM EST, Fri, Jan 15, 2021

Officer Stripped of Badge, Four EMS Workers Placed on Modified Duty in Wake of Eric Garner's Death

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About 300 people marched through Harlem streets Saturday morning in support of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old man who died after police choked him to death late last week.

Garner was allegedly selling illegal, untaxed cigarettes outside a local market when Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a banned chokehold to subdue the 400-pound man.

Footage of the incident went viral, sparking outrage over what critics call Pantaleo and an unnamed second officer's use of excessive force.

The preliminary autopsy report showed little damage to Garner's neck, though it may not keep Pantaleo from getting disciplined. The chokehold used is prohibited by department policy.

Family, friends, and political figures -- including Reverend Al Sharpton -- led the 1.5 mile march leading to the 120th Precinct in St. George; crowds chanting "No justice, no peace" along the way. Sharpton cited the footage, saying that ultimately, video doesn't lie.

"We don't have to argue, just go to the tape. We've been to the tape and the tape speaks for itself," Sharpton said. "From what I saw in the video, [police] disrespected his humanity."

Footage obtained by the New York Daily News shows Garner refusing to be handcuffed while officers try to arrest him. The father of six is heard gasping "I can't breathe," as four policemen push his face to the sidewalk.

Witnesses say Garner had just broken up an argument on Tompkinsville's Bay Street. Police responded and began questioning Garner, who has been arrested over 30 times for illegal cigarette sales.

"We have a responsibility to keep every New Yorker safe, and that includes when individuals are in custody of the NYPD. That is a responsibility that Police Commissioner Bratton and I take very seriously." New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

De Blasio postponed his Italian vacation to address Garner's death.

Pantaleo and the unidentified officer have been placed on desk duty, and have had their gun and badge detained.

Additionally, four Richmond University Medical Center emergency workers have been assigned to "modified duty" and barred from responding to 911 calls.

A second video surfaced over the weekend showing about a half-dozen officers and EMS workers surrounding a handcuffed and unresponsive Garner. His family says Garner sold cigarettes because asthma and diabetes inhibit him from working.

"This shows just how much [Garner] was loved," said Gwen Carr, Eric's mother yesterday. "Keep your children close. This is a terrible feeling to feel. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."

Garner's death has stirred memories of a similar incident 20 years ago, when Police officer Francis Livoti was dismissed from the NYPD and convicted of violating the civil rights of Anthony Baez, who died after Livoti choked him.

Livoti has maintained his innocence, claiming the Bronx man died from an asthma attack.

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