The mother of a man who was placed in a chokehold while in police custody said today that her first words on hearing his death had been ruled a homicide were, "Thank you, Jesus." Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, said she was grateful for the medical examiner's report saying Garner's death was caused by a banned police maneuver. Carr and other family members spoke to supporters at the Harlem headquarters of the Rev. Al Sharpton, who said prosecutors should make an arrest in Garner's death.
The gathering at Sharpton's headquarters came the day after the medical examiner's office ruled that Garner was killed by neck compressions from the chokehold and "the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." Asthma, heart disease, and obesity were contributing factors in the death of the 43-year-old Garner, a 6-foot-3, 350-pound father of six, the medical examiner said. A spokesman for Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said prosecutors were still investigating the death and awaiting a full autopsy report and death certificate from the medical examiner. Donovan will have to determine whether to empanel a grand jury and file charges.