A Staten Island man died yesterday after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD officers, and footage filmed by a civilian captures the entire incident.

According to the New York Daily News, the chokehold was applied to 43-year-old Eric Garner, who was then taken down by at least five officers who slammed his head into the sidewalk. Garner, who suffered from asthma, can be heard yelling "I can't breathe" as officers attempt to handcuff him. Shortly after, police summoned paramedics when Garner lost consciousness. 

Police brass told the Daily News that Garner had been arrested in the past for selling untaxed cigarettes, and that police watched him doing the same yesterday, triggering the attempted arrest. He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where later died. 

Though an NYPD spokesperson told the Daily News that Garner died after going into cardiac arrest while being placed in custody, his wife, Esaw, said police are simply "covering their asses." Arguing that her husband was simply "breaking up a fight," Esaw Garner told the Daily News police "harassed and harassed [her] husband until they killed him."

His family maintains that he didn't have any cigarettes on him, or in his car at the time of the incident. 

The Daily News adds that the NYPD's Internal Affairs division spoke to Garner's wife, telling her an investigation into his death is ongoing, as "there [was] wrongdoing." 

UPDATE: The video has since been taken down.

[via New York Daily News]

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