Eric Garner: New York City 'agrees $5.9m settlement' with family of unarmed black man killed in police chokehold

The settlement comes a year after the death of the father of six

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The city of New York has agreed to pay $5.9m to the family of an unarmed black man who death at the hands of police after he was placed in an illegal chokehold, sparked protests and anguish.

Following a report that the family of Eric Garner had rejected a payment of $5m to resolve a claim over the killing of the 43-year-old, it was reported that a subsequent offer of $5.9m had been agreed. It is one of the biggest ever paid out in connection with the New York Police department, the New York Times said.

Mr Garner did on July 17 after being arrested on Staten Island. The confrontation was captured in a cellphone video taken by a bystander.

Last year, Mr. Garner’s relatives, including his widow, Esaw Garner, and with his mother, Gwen Carr, filed a notice of claim seeking $75m in damages. Mr Garner died after a police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, placed him in a chokehold during an arrest as other officers wrestled him to the ground.

The family's lawyer, Jonathan Moore, did not responsd to calls, he told the Times that city had until Friday, the anniversary of the death, to come to an agreement. If none had been reached, a suit would have been filed.

As it was, the city's Comptroller,  Scott  Stringer took the decision rather than risk the $75 lawsuit.

“The City of New York has agreed to pay $5.9m to resolve the Garner case,” Mr Moore said.

In December 2014, it was announced that the officers involved in Mr Garner's death would not face criminal charges.

The death of Mr Garner - one of many black suspects to die at the hands of police across the nation - sparked outcry and protests and his final words of "I can't breathe" were used as a rallying cry by protesters.

The settlement was reached even as several inquiries into Mr Garner’s death are continuing, including investigations by the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York and state health officials.

Mr Garner's family has said said members of an emergency medical team were captured on video apparently failing to give medical treatment to him as he struggled.