New York City to pay $8m to family of Eric Garner who died from police chokehold

Candles are seen at the memorial of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Candles are seen at the memorial of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - New York City has reached a settlement with the family of Eric Garner, who was killed after being put in a chokehold by police last July, agreeing to pay US$5.9 million (S$8 million) to resolve the claim over his death, city officials said on Monday.

Eric Garner's death, along with the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Missouri, last August by a white police officer, sparked protests around the country by people outraged over police treatment of African-Americans.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said on Monday that the settlement with Garner's family was "in the best interest of all parties," adding that the city did not admit liability.

"I believe that we have reached an agreement that acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr Garner's death while balancing my office's fiscal responsibility to the City,"Stringer said in a statement.

A grand jury declined to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner in a chokehold, a manoeuvre banned by New York City police. Garner's death drew widespread outrage after a bystander video showing the deadly confrontation became public.

The settlement comes roughly a week after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will appoint a special prosecutor to handle investigations when civilians are killed during confrontations with police.