The story of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father of six, died on Staten Island died at the hands of the NYPD who literally put him in a chokehold, made national headline news. Now, Garner’s family has filed a notice of claim to sue the city and the NYPD for $75 million, alleging that “negligence, recklessness and carelessness” on the part of police resulted in his chokehold death last July.
The notice was filed by the law firm of Rubenstein and Rynecki Tuesday, and names several police officers whose identities had not been previously released.
Four EMS workers employed by the Richmond University Medical Center were suspended without pay after Garner’s death. The civil lawsuit does not mention any medical personnel by name.
The city comptroller’s office and the city Law Department said they were reviewing the notice of claim. The NYPD did not immediately comment.
The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide, finding that the chokehold killed him and that asthma, obesity and high blood pressure were contributing factors.
Sanford Rubenstein, the attorney representing the Garner family, is under a separate sexual assault investigation. No charges have been filed against him.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who has also been working with the Garners, said the notice of claim was filed Tuesday in order to meet a deadline, and that it had nothing to do with the allegations against Rubenstein. He said the family would make an announcement about its legal representation during Saturday’s weekly rally at Sharpton’s Harlem headquarters.
While it’s doubtful that the family will receive $75 million, once again the NYPD and the city of New York have been put on notice regarding their racial profiling and abusive tactics. One way or another, they will have to pay.