Representative Peter King (R-NY) told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s The Situation Room that the Staten Island grand jury which declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner did the right thing.
He blamed Garner for his own death, suggesting that had he taken better care of himself, he could have survived the choke-hold which the NYPD has forbidden its officers to use.
“The police had no reason to know he was in serious condition,” King told Blizter. “You had a 350-pound person who was resisting arrest. The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible. If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died.”
He went on to say that he didn’t believe that Garner was having difficulty breathing, “if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk.” Of course people say that all the time when what they really mean is that they are having difficulty breathing which can, as it did in this case, lead to serious consequences.
“In this case, a choke-hold was not illegal,” he added. “It is against department regulations, but as you look carefully, I don’t think it was an intent to put him in a choke-hold.”
Last week King encouraged President Obama to invite Darren Wilson to the White House on Fox Business Network to promote healing.
“I think it would be very helpful if President Obama went and met with the police officer, or at least invited him to the White House,” he said at the time.
“And say, ‘You’ve gone through four months of smear and slander and the least we can do is tell you that it is unfortunate that it happened and thank you for doing your job.'”
Watch King’s comments in the video below from CNN.