(NBC News) A New York Police Department supervisor called the death of Eric Garner — killed during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes — "not a big deal," according to testimony at the departmental trial of the officer who applied a deadly chokehold.
After Daniel Pantaleo choked Garner from behind before three officers tackled him, Sgt. Dhanan Saminath told Lt. Christopher Brannon in a text message that Garner was “most likely DOA ... he has no pulse,” according to evidence presented Thursday, the Staten Island Advance and New York Times both reported.
That's when Lt. Brannon responded, “Not a big deal, we were effecting a lawful arrest," both newspapers reported. When the text message was read out loud, gasps and cries could be heard from the courtroom audience, the papers said.
Advertisement - story continues below