Daniel Pantaleo trail

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Pantaleo Trial: Medical Examiner Says Chokehold Caused Garner’s Death

May 15, 2019 - 4:16 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Eric Garner says officer Daniel Pantaleo’s alleged chokehold caused “a lethal sequence of events” that resulted in his death.

Dr. Floriana Persechino testified at Pantaleo’s disciplinary trial Wednesday saying the hemorrhaging in Garner’s neck muscles proved he was placed in a chokehold which set off an asthma attack and eventually led to his death five years ago.

After watching vide of the encounter between Pantaleo and Garner, in which he was detained on a Staten Island street for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, Persechino concluded, “In my opinion, that’s a chokehold.”  

Garner's mother Gwen Carr was in the courtroom again Wednesday, but left the room before autopsy photos were shown.

Persechino did acknowledge that Garner suffered from obesity and an enlarged heart. Pantaleo's lawyer Stu London insists it was his medical conditions that caused his death.

“He had such a compromised cardiovascular, such a cardiovascular respiratory system, he had no margin of safety. He was a ticking time bomb,” London said outside the courtroom.

Pantaleo has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyer insists the move used to take down Garner was not a chokehold, but rather another maneuver called the “seatbelt.”

Outside the courthouse, Carr told reporters it was hard to hear the defense’s explination.

“People are saying cut and dry what it was, a chokehold, but he's saying it wasn't a chokehold, he was taught different maneuvers,” Carr said. “It's disgusting"