City of Syracuse has ‘no comment' on chokehold lawsuit

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Syracuse officials have declined to comment after the New York Civil Liberties Union announced on Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit against the city and two officers after a 14-year-old was allegedly placed in a chokehold until he went unconscious.

According to the NYCLU, Syracuse Police maintain a “dangerously inadequate use-of-force policy” that fails to mention chokeholds.

The maneuver gained national attention when a New York City Police Officer was caught on camera placing Eric Garner in a chokehold.

Garner died as a result of the incident.

“After the tragic death of Eric Garner shocked the world, no one can claim to be unaware of the deadliness of chokeholds,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “It is hard to fathom how Syracuse police could knowingly put a 14-year-old asthmatic child’s life at risk, particularly when he was threatening no one.” 

According to the NYCLU, the 14-year-old was walking home from Corcoran High School on Sept. 27, 2016 when a fight broke out. 

The teen and his brother reportedly tried to break up the fight, but it sparked up again and police responded to the scene.

The NYCLU says an officer picked out the teen and threw him to the ground, choking him for more than 45 seconds until he lost consciousness, while another officer “slammed his knee” into the teen’s neck.

“When I was little, I wanted to be a police officer,” the teen told the NYCLU. “That changed after the encounter I had. I want my story to be heard and I want people to see how this impacted my life. I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

Click here for more information from the NYCLU on the lawsuit.


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