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Here’s What a Chokehold Actually Is


On Wednesday, a grand jury in New York decided against indicting an NYPD officer in the death of a black unarmed Staten Island man during his arrest for selling loose cigarettes in his neighborhood.

Video footage of the incident shows Eric Garner being subdued by several officers, with NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo apparently wrapping his forearm around the man’s neck — a move that has widely been described as a “chokehold.” Garner can be heard in the video saying “I can’t breathe.”

In grand jury testimony, Pantaleo says he merely used a maneuver that had been taught to him in police academy. According to the New York Times, Pantaleo says he hooked his arm under one of Garner’s arms as he wrapped his other arm around Garner’s body.

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But was it a chokehold? Here’s the precise language the NYPD Patrol Guide uses to describe the maneuver, which…

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