Eric Garner was standing on a sidewalk when police, who accused him of selling untaxed cigarettes, approached him. Garner, 43, told police that he hadn't sold anything and to leave him alone. After a brief standoff, five police officers attempted to take the 400-pound Staten Island, N.Y., father of six down to the ground.
Video footage from the incident shows Garner being choked from behind by one officer as the other officers attempt to handcuff him, the New York Daily News reports. Garner can be heard on the footage saying, "I can't breathe. I can't breathe." In the end, Garner lay unconscious on the pavement.
Garner would go into cardiac arrest and die Thursday at Richmond University Medical Center, the Daily News reports.