News

Commissioner Bratton Meets With NAACP Over Death Of Eric Garner In Police Custody

New video shows Eric Garner, 43, on the ground before he died shortly after an officer apparently put him in a choke hold. (Credit: CBS 2)

New video shows Eric Garner, 43, on the ground before he died shortly after an officer apparently put him in a choke hold. (Credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — National and local NAACP leaders sat down with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Wednesday following the death of Eric Garner while in police custody earlier this month.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks called the hour-long meeting a frank, sincere discussion.

“The point being here is we have someone who died between those who are charged with public safety in the midst of a small crowd of people,” Brooks said. “It’s deeply troubling.”

Commissioner Bratton Meets With NAACP Over Death Of Eric Garner In Police Custody

eric garner casket drip pan Commissioner Bratton Meets With NAACP Over Death Of Eric Garner In Police Custody
1010 WINS' Al Jones reports

Brooks told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell he felt encouraged following the meeting.

“I believe we’re heading in the right direction,” he said.

According to Brooks, Bratton reiterated his pledge to reform police training and use of force.

“The interactions between the police and the community in this city are troubled,” he said. “But that presents a tragic opportunity, meaning as New York goes so goes the country.”

Brooks said though nothing was specifically laid out,”My impression was any reasonable option is on the table.”

He added that the entire country is watching to see what New York does, how police work changes, and will hold the commissioner accountable for that change, Jones reported.

“One does not respond to a minor quality of life infraction with heavy-handed force or with a choke hold. He was clear about that,” Brooks said.

Commissioner Bratton Meets With NAACP Over Death Of Eric Garner In Police Custody

eric garner memorial2 Commissioner Bratton Meets With NAACP Over Death Of Eric Garner In Police Custody
WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reports

Garner, of Staten Island, went into cardiac arrest on July 17 after being put in a chokehold by an officer while being placed under arrest. He had been stopped by police for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

The incident was caught on cell phone video.

Garner’s death sparked outrage from family, friends and the community as well as calls for change in policing policy from local leaders. The use of chokeholds are banned by the NYPD.

Four emergency workers were suspended without pay pending an investigation into Garner’s death. The officer who placed Garner in the chokehold, OfficerDaniel Pantaleo, and another unidentified officer were placed on modified reassignment pending a full investigation.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: