(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.