Chokehold triggered Eric Garner's death, says ME

"What if there wasn’t a video? This case would have gotten swept under the rug like so many others before," said Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner.

Today marks day four of the disciplinary trial of Officer Daniel Pantaleo.. Defense attorneys will begin calling police witnesses who were involved in the incident.

Grisly photos of Eric Garner on an autopsy table-- as a result of these events caught on camera-- were presented in the courtroom yesterday as the city’s medical examiner explained the chokehold allegedly applied.

The doctor said hemorrhaging in Garner’s neck muscles is indicative a chokehold was used during the July 2014 confrontation.

"The medical examiner, she clearly says it’s a chokehold," said Carr.

To Mr. Garner’s mom, Gwen Car, the ME’s testimony is clear cut. She says it negates the defense’s point that obesity led to her son’s death nearly five years ago. But the doctor also said even a bear hug could have hastened Garner’s death given his fragile health.

"He was asthmatic. He was obese and he was an individual whose own physicality was his own demise," said Stuart London, attorney for Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s lawyer, Stuart London, focused on Garner’s health during cross- examination.

He called the 43-year-old a ticking time bomb with a heart nearly double the size of a person in good health.

Nonetheless, the ME said Garner did not appear in distress when seen on surveillance video crossing a street about an hour before Pantaleo grabbed him.

The central question in this trial is whether Panteleo used a banned chokehold… not whether Garner was physically capable of withstanding one. The defense contends Pantaleo applied an approved ‘seat-belt’ hold that he learned while attending the police academy.