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Thousands protest New York police 'chokehold' death

Published on Aug 24, 2014 6:30 AM
People march during rally against police violence on Aug 23, 2014 in the borough of Staten Island in New York City. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Several thousand people demonstrated on New York's Staten Island Saturday to protest the death of a black man placed in a chokehold by police.

Eric Garner, 43, a father of six who was suspected of illegally selling cigarettes, was wrestled to the ground by several white police officers after resisting arrest on July 17.

An amateur video showed police subduing him with a chokehold. Garner, who was obese and asthmatic and repeatedly complained he could not breathe, lost consciousness and was pronounced dead of a heart attack after being transferred to hospital.

Classified as a homicide by the New York medical examiner's office, his death set off intense reactions and several protests in New York reminiscent of those in Ferguson, Missouri, over the August 9 police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

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