Family pathologist agrees with ME in Garner cause of death

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are new developments in the death of Eric Garner.

A pathologist hired by his family reviewed the autopsy and concluded Garner died from a neck compression.

But the police union insists that didn't happen from the apparent choke hold before his death.

Dr. Michael Baden, once New York City's Medical Examiner, confirmed what the current ME found in her recent autopsy of 43-year-old Eric Garner.

The ME ruled that Garner died from compression to the neck after an apparent choke-hold by a NYPD officer during a struggle on Staten Island in July.

Baden, now in private practice, was hired by Garner's family to review the autopsy and other evidence.

"I'm basically saying that it she did a good autopsy and I agree that there was compression of the neck, that was the cause of death," said Dr. Michael Baden, the Garner Family Pathologist.

Baden, like the city's Medical Examiner, also determined there were other contributing factors in Garner's death, including his weight. He was diabetic and suffered from asthma.

"There was evidence of pre-existing natural disease that has to be taken into account, but the most severe finding was the neck compression," Baden said.

The head of the police union spoke out moments after Baden, again defending the officer's actions and claiming that the neck compression was likely caused by medical personnel trying to save Garner.

"I acknowledge that he's a medical examiner, I acknowledge that he did not come to these microphones and say asphyxiation which would prove choke-hold, he did not say that. What he said was compression to the neck which is consistent of what we said this is not a choke-hold but a take down maneuver and what he did say is the damage to the neck is consistent with lifesaving techniques that an emergency room person would use," said Patrick Lynch, the Police Benevolent Association President.
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