The City comptroller’s office has announced a landmark settlement in a case of excessive force in New York City that set off protests and riots across the country last year.
Nearly one year ago, Eric Garner died while in police custody. He stopped breathing after being put in an illegal choke hold. Garner, a husband and father, was just 46 years old and had been arrested for a minor offense: allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island.
Months ago, his surviving family members filed a $75 million lawsuit for wrongful death in connection with the use of excessive force in New York City. Now the City has offered the family members $5.9 million to settle out of court. The official statement from comptroller Scott Stringer said that the settlement was “in the best interest of all parties”.
The Eric Garner case was a textbook case of excessive force in New York City. The entire altercation was caught on video. The recording clearly shows one officer restraining then dragging Garner to the ground. Shortly thereafter, Garner can be heard repeatedly stating that he could not breathe. He shortly slipped into unconsciousness and never recovered.
While Garner’s death was ruled a homicide, the police officer who put Mr. Garner in a chokehold was cleared of wrong doing by a grand jury last December. The wrongful death lawsuit was the family’s last effort to make the City of New York pay for the death of their beloved.
The family had sufficient cause (and evidence) for an excessive force case against the City that would likely have resulted in a favorable ruling in court. Regardless of whether or not you have video evidence, if you or a loved one has been injured in an altercations with an NYPD officer or any member of the corrections staff at any of New York’s jails or prisons, an expert New York City excessive force attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.