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Police: Man Dies During Arrest For Allegedly Selling Illegal Cigarettes On Staten Island

A vigil is set up in the Tompkinsville section of Staten Island after a man died in police custody while being arrested for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes. (Credit: CBS 2)

A vigil is set up in the Tompkinsville section of Staten Island after a man died in police custody while being arrested for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man died in police custody Thursday, after being arrested for allegedly selling illegal cigarettes on Staten Island.

Around 4:50 p.m. Thursday, Eric Garner, 40, was allegedly caught selling the untaxed cigarettes in front of a building at 202 Bay St. in the Tompkinsville section of Staten Island, police said.

Police: Man Dies During Arrest For Allegedly Selling Illegal Cigarettes On Staten Island

staten island custody death scene 0717 Police: Man Dies During Arrest For Allegedly Selling Illegal Cigarettes On Staten Island
John Montone reports

When officers tried to arrest Garner, he went into cardiac arrest, police said.

He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s office will determine the cause of death for Garner.

Police sources told CBS 2 the victim had an extensive arrest history. He was arrested on Staten Island in May for possession of untaxed cigarettes, and at that time, his weight was listed at 350 pounds, sources said.

At the scene where Garner was arrested, a group of people put candles on the sidewalk for a memorial. A sign was also mounted accusing police of “brutality” in connection with his death.

Police were investigating additional details surrounding Garner’s death.

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