By VERENA DOBNIK, bigstory.ap.org

These two pictures depict Eric Garner, the man who died while in police custody in New York. On the right is a still from the video taken by a bystander of the 'arrest.'

These two pictures depict Eric Garner, the man who died while in police custody in New York. On the right is a still from the video taken by a bystander of the ‘arrest.’

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Four emergency workers involved in the medical response for a New York City man who died in police custody after being put in an apparent chokehold have been barred from responding to 911 calls, the Fire Department of New York said.

The two EMTs and two paramedics removed from the city’s emergency response system are the latest public safety workers to face reassignment as questions mount about Thursday’s death of Eric Garner. Two police officers — including the one who put his arm around Garner’s neck — have been put on desk duty…

Video of the arrest shot by a bystander shows one officer wrap his arm around Garner’s neck as he is taken to the ground — arrested for allegedly selling untaxed, loose cigarettes — while Garner shouts, “I can’t breathe!”

The restrictions on the medical personnel came a day after the police department said it reassigned Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who used the apparent chokehold on Garner, and another unidentified officer while prosecutors and internal affairs detectives investigate. Chokeholds are banned under department policy.

The department said it stripped Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran of the force, of his gun and badge.

Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner, breaks down in the arms of the Revs. Herbert Daughtry (left) and Al Sharpton (right) during a rally on Sunday

Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner, breaks down in the arms of the Revs. Herbert Daughtry (left) and Al Sharpton (right) during a rally on Sunday

Court records show that within the past two years, three men sued Pantaleo in federal court over allegedly unlawful, racially motivated arrests…

Earlier Sunday, the Rev. Al Sharpton demanded justice for Garner and accountability from citizens who attack police officers during an appeal from the pulpit at Manhattan’s Riverside Church.

Garner was “choked by New York City policemen,” the Harlem preacher told the congregation. “What bothers me is that the nation watches a man say ‘I can’t breathe’ and the choking continues, and police surround him and none of them even say, ‘Wait a minute, stop! He can’t breathe!'”

 

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