Council Member: Bratton Should Take Away Pay From Officers in Chokehold Death

NEW YORK—Council member Andy King said that pay should be taken away from the officers involved in the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died last week after being placed in a chokehold by one of the officers arresting him.

King said that Police Commissioner William Bratton should be as harsh to his officers as the Richmond University Medical Center was to the four EMTs who failed to perform their duty when they arrived at the scene of Garner’s arrest. The technicians were suspended without pay while the investigation continues.

“Don’t tell an officer who just killed somebody, ‘We’re just going to take your badge and your gun, and you just cool down, and you still get your pension, and you still get your paycheck.’ No—let them feel some hardship, and they should be held accountable. That’s responsible,” King said.

In a video of the incident filmed by a bystander, at least eight officers stand around Garner as he lies motionless on the ground. Two of the officers have been taken off the street, including the one who appeared to choke Garner. 

“Once the commissioner starts making real hard decisions that hold his officers accountable then he builds the trust of the community,” King said. “Every time a police officer violates the public, they figure out some way to get that police officer off.” 

King was among several council members and state elected officials in front of City Hall on Tuesday to call for a swift investigation of Garner’s case.

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