On Monday, the family of Eric Garner — who died after being placed into an illegal chokehold by a police officer — has taken the first step in their planned lawsuit against the city, the NYPD and six officers involved in the incident, filing a claim to sue for $75 million. The claim is currently under review. The police department has not issued a statement to comment.
The notice was filed by the law firm of Sanford Rubenstein, who currently being investigated for rape allegations. The accuser is one of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network advisers, who has stated that the sexual assault took place after Sharpton’s 60th birthday party, at Rubenstein’s apartment. Rev. Al Sharpton, who lead key protests following Eric Garner’s death, has reportedly cut ties with Rubenstein, and clarified on Tuesday that “the fact Rubenstein’s name is on the notice of claim does not necessarily mean that Rubenstein will be the family’s attorney going forward,” according to the AP. The family was just trying to make the deadline before it expires.
Earlier this year, Eric Garner was apprehended under the suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. The asthmatic Staten Island man was captured on camera being placed into a chokehold and telling the police, “I can’t breathe.” He was also videotaped dying on the sidewalk, waiting for the paramedics to arrive. The medical examiner stated that Garner’s death was a homicide — the result of “the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” A grand jury has yet to decide if criminal charges will be filed.
The cops involved are part of the troubled 120th Precinct, home to the city’s top ten most-sued officers and already embroiled in a separate “accidental death” incident. Garner’s death contributed to driving the NYPD’s approval rating to its lowest since 2000 and placed a continuous spotlight on its use of excessive force and violence, as well as its racially skewed enforcement of the questionable “broken windows” theory.