The death of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man that was pronounced dead after a New York City police officer put him in a choke, has been ruled a homicide.

Chokehold Killed Eric Garner

The New York City Medical Examiner asserted that Garner died as a result of compression of his neck and chest while police officers restrained him, according to the New York Daily News. Contributing to Garner’s death by chokehold were his asthma, high blood pressure and obesity.

“Thank God the truth is finally out,” Esaw Garner, the deceased’s widow, told The News. “Thank God for that.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the ME’s finding in the following statement:

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Eric Garner, on this day we have received the Medical Examiner’s findings concerning the cause of his death,” the mayor said in the statement. “My administration will continue to work with all involved authorities, including the Richmond County District Attorney, to ensure a fair and justified outcome.”

Garner’s Fatal Arrest

On July 17, Garner was busted for allegedly selling loosies (single, untaxed cigarettes.) During the arrest, Officer Daniel Pantaleo was captured on video putting him in a chokehold, which the NYPD banned after the death of another man being put under arrest in the 90s. Garner can be heard saying repeatedly in the footage, “I can’t breathe,” to no effect.

In the aftermath of the incident, Pantaleo has been reassigned pending the outcome of the case. In response to the ME’s report, the Staten Island District Attorney’s office said in a statement, “We await the issuance of the official death certificate and the autopsy report. The investigation into Mr. Garner's death continues."

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