@#29 ... You try taking down a giant monster without chocking him... ...
Follow procedure. Back off until you can re-establish control of the situation, calling in backup if needed. It did not look as if the guy was running away or anything. He was just standing there.
The guy was selling a few cigarettes. The law is more about thousands of cigarettes, i.e., the black market. There was question why the officer went after the guy in the first place for selling so few cigarettes.
imo, based upon what I've seen (and NYC being regional news around here, I've seen it a lot) it looks like the officer went in, got overwhelmed, and panicked when he could not get control of the situation. So he went to improper procedures, i.e., the chokehold.
Again, the death was ruled a homicide, and NYPD procedures were not followed.
Oh, by the way, in your tainting of the guy, you forgot one thing - due process and innocent until proven guilty.
By your logic, the lawbreaking officer should face the death penalty, right?
Homicide is a worse crime than selling illegally a few cigarettes, and you seem to be OK with the death penalty for selling illegally a few cigarettes...