As a trained Martial Artist familiar with many strangulation techniques, they can be dangerous and deadly in untrained hands. Choking is the improper term as choking is caused by food in the windpipe for example. A strangulation technique is very different as there are many different kinds of strangulations. The death of Eric Garner has been ruled a homicide and the police officer accused with causing his death has been stripped of his sidearm and badge.
Let’s be very clear, the need to restrain Mr. Garner as the incident unfolded was clearly his fault. Garner was no innocent victim. He was arrested for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. He refused to comply with repeated officer’s requests to put his hands behind his back so he could be cuffed and that facilitated what transpired. The problem is not that police subdued him, taking him to the ground. The problem with the case and why the officer will face charges, is that he used a strangulation technique which is illegal and not allowed in the NYPD and further, when the suspect was no longer a threat, the officer should have released the hold and the other officers should have released the force initially required to subdue the giant of a man.
Had officers done this, and the suspect survived without injury, they would have had a case to make regarding his lack of compliance. Officers can not kill or cause the death of a suspect unless he is a threat and towards the end of the video, when the suspect was pleading that he couldn’t breathe, he was absolutely no longer a threat. Police officers need to be able to control their rage despite Garner’s lack of compliance as this altercation started.
Spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Garner’s death was caused by “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police”, but there were other factors too, such as asthma and heart disease. There will be backlash and the new mayor of New York will unquestionably defend the suspect over the NYPD which is too bad. But this is an isolated incident despite what the media may say. Most NYPD officers are professionals who do an incredible job protecting the citizens of New York City.