Eric Garner

It's been almost five years since Eric Garner died after telling New York police officers, "I can't breathe," during an arrest in Staten Island, but on Monday disciplinary proceedings began against one of the officers.

NEW YORK (AP) — A medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Eric Garner says a police officer's chokehold set into motion "a lethal sequence of events" that led to his death five years ago.

Dr. Floriana Persechino detailed the findings in testimony Wednesday at New York Police Department Officer Daniel Pantaleo's disciplinary trial.

Police Chokehold Death

A protester holds a sing outside of police headquarters, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in New York. Daniel Pantaleo, a New York City police officer accused in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, will face a disciplinary trial in May.

Persechino says hemorrhaging in neck muscles was indicative of a chokehold that set off an asthma attack and led to his death.

She also reviewed video of the confrontation as well as security video showing Garner an hour earlier.

Garner's mother heeded a warning from the administrative judge and left the room so she didn't have to see autopsy photos.

Persechino also said Garner suffered from obesity and an enlarged heart — factors Pantaleo's lawyers say caused his death.

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