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​Family plans $75 million lawsuit over NYC chokehold death

NEW YORK -- The family of a man who died after being placed in a police chokehold has filed a notice of claim to sue New York City, the Police Department and six individual police officers for $75 million.

Eric Garner's family filed the notice -- the first step toward suing over the 43-year-old Garner's death -- on Monday.

A spokesman for City Comptroller Scott Stringer said Tuesday that the claim is under review.

Representatives of the Police Department and the city Law Department did not immediately comment on the notice of claim.

Commissioner Bill Bratton: Video of NYPD chokehold is "disturbing" 01:35

Garner, who was unarmed, was stopped by police on Staten Island on July 17 on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes.

A video shot by an onlooker shows Garner telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo responded by apparently putting Garner in a chokehold, which is banned under police policy. Garner is heard gasping, "I can't breathe." He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Garner's death has sparked protests including an Aug. 23 march on Staten Island that drew thousands of people demanding justice.

The city medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and found that the chokehold contributed to Garner's death. Police union officials disputed the findings.

Medical Examiner rules NYC police chokehold a homicide 02:06

"The type of compression and damage is consistent with life-saving techniques EMS or emergency room technicians would do in a situation like this," Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch told CBS New York in September. "It's consistent with that, not consistent with a chokehold."

Lynch also insisted Pantaleo used an authorized takedown move, not a chokehold.

"One arm of the police officer under the armpit of the individual they're taking down and the other arm over the shoulder," Lynch said. "That's exactly what you see, and it matches up to our training videos for a takedown maneuver."

Following Garner's death, the NYPD said it stripped Pantaleo of his gun and badge and placed another officer on modified duty. A grand jury will determine whether criminal charges are filed.

Pantaleo has been sued by three men in federal court over allegedly unlawful, racially motivated arrests within the past two years, court records show.

Meantime, a watchdog agency says complaints about NYPD officers using banned chokeholds are rising and discipline has been lacking.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board said Tuesday it fielded 219 chokehold complaints from July 2013 through June 2014, the most since 2009.

The report says the panel has almost always recommended disciplinary charges after it substantiated chokehold complaints but the NYPD has rarely pursued them since 2009.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio says the police department is upgrading training and needs to reevaluate disciplinary proceedings.

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch says the report is "meaningless" and based on poorly investigated complaints.

Last week, Police Commissioner William Bratton warned that he's taking steps to identify abusive officers and kick them off the police force, the nation's largest.

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