Mayor rebuts NYPD unions after custody death

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) is defending the medical examiner’s ruling about a man who died in police custody.

Eric Garner, a 43-year-old asthmatic man, died last month on Staten Island. The medical examiner ruled last week the death was a homicide and caused by a choke hold.

The head of the rank-and-file police union, Patrick Lynch, said today that the ruling was “political.” He disputed the choke-hold findings.

De Blasio said a short time later that he believed the medical examiner was “the gold standard.”

The Staten Island district attorney is investigating the death.

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