As the criminal investigation continues in the Eric Garner case, his family has brought in a renowned coroner to help with any law suit against the city. It's the same person hired by the family of police shooting victim Michael Brown in Ferguson. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Famed forensic pathologist Michael Baden says after looking at the autopsy records of Eric Garner, he can say at this point he doesn't dispute the findings of the city's medical examiner.
The medical examiner says a chokehold lead to Garner's death.
"The patient did have an enlarged heart, a very large heart, but good coronary arteries. And did have evidence, under the microscope, of asthma," Baden said. "Compression of the neck that prevents breathing for example trumps everything else as a cause of death."
Baden has done thousands of autopsies and has been an expert on the cause of death in several high profile cases. Back in the 1970s he was the chief medical examiner in the city and then headed up the pathology department for New York State police.
Lawyers for Eric Garner's family hired Baden as their expert now. He says the city's ME did a good autopsy.
"We reviewed all of her findings and all the tissues and all the photographs and they do confirm that there is a hemorrhage in the neck," Baden said.
The head of the police union continues to say a chokehold didn't cause Garner's death, however, as NYPD officers attempted to arrest him on Staten Island. Pat Lynch says the injuries may have come from medical treatment.
"The type of compression and damage to the neck and chest is consistent with life saving techniques that EMS or emergency room technicians would do in a situation like this. It is consistent with that—not consistent with a chokehold," Lynch said.
Baden says he will be taking a look at those ambulance and hospital reports.
"We have some autopsy findings now that have to be correlated with the videos, with the eyewitness statements, with the statements of the police officers," Baden said.
The police union says its expert medical examiner will also be taking a look at autopsy reports. All of this comes as the Staten Island district attorney's office continues to head the investigation.
It remains to be seen if a grand jury will indict any of the officers involved in the case.