Eric Garner, 43, died last Thursday following a run in with New York City police officers, local media reports.
Garner, a father of six, was in Staten Island allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes near a salon when police confronted him.
The 6-foot-3, 350-pound man refused to comply with the officers commands, insisting that he did not do anything wrong.
“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today,” Garner yells, in a video recorded by a bystander. “I’m minding my business please just leave me alone.”
During the altercation, which became physical, one of the officers grabbed Garner around the neck and placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold — a move that is prohibited by the NYPD patrol guide because it can be deadly.
Garner died of a heart attack not long after NYPD engaged him, leaving questions as to whether the force was excessive.
“It was very troubling,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday. “I watched it the same way a family member would watch it, and it was very sad to watch.”
Police records show that Garner had been arrested 31 times since 1988, charges ranged from assault, drug possession to selling untaxed cigarettes.