Settlement in Eric Garner lawsuit against NYC for $5.9 million in apparent chokehold death

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

NEW YORK -- There's a settlement in the controversial NYPD custody death of Eric Garner. His family will receive $5.9 million to settle a potential lawsuit in the wake of the apparent police chokehold on Staten Island.

The family still can sue the paramedics involved in Garner's care if they so choose.

Garner's estate filed a claim against New York City in October 2014 for damages related to his death in July of last year. Garner, an unarmed black man, was placed in an apparent chokehold by a white police officer during a confrontation on a Staten Island street over loose cigarettes on July 17, 2014. A cellphone video, which was shared around the world, captured Garner saying, "I can't breathe!" 11 times as he was restrained.

"Following a judicious review of the claim and facts of this case, my office was able to reach a settlement with the estate of Eric Garner that is in the best interests of all parties," Comptroller Stringer said. "We are all familiar with the events that lead to the death of Eric Garner and the extraordinary impact his passing has had on our City and our nation. It forced us to examine the state of race relations, and the relationship between our police force and the people they serve. While we cannot discuss the details of this settlement, and the City has not admitted liability, I believe that we have reached an agreement that acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr. Garner's death while balancing my office's fiscal responsibility to the City."

Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement saying, "No sum of money can make this family whole, but hopefully the Garner family can find some peace and finality from today's settlement. By reaching a resolution, family and other loved ones can move forward even though we know they will never forget this tragic incident."

The Garner family and Reverend Al Sharpton plan to hold a press conference Tuesday to confirm the settlement with the city.

The multimillion dollar settlement will be divided among seven heirs: Garner's mother, who is also the administrator; garner's wife and their four children; and Garner's one-year-old child with another woman.