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Rev. Sharpton, Family Of Eric Garner Hold Events To Mark Garner's Birthday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The family of Eric Garner joined Rev. Al Sharpton Saturday at a National Action Network rally to commemorate what would have been Garner's 44th birthday.

The rally began at 10 a.m. in Harlem, CBS 2 reported. The family then held an event that began at noon at the National Action Network offices in Staten Island.

The event ends at sundown in Tompkinsville at the location where Garner was taken into police custody before he died.

Garner, an asthmatic father of six, died on July 17 after being placed in an apparent chokehold by police who were trying to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

In cellphone video of the incident, an officer is seen placing his arm around Garner's neck and then taking him to the ground after Garner refuses to be handcuffed.

Garner is heard saying repeatedly in the video, "I can't breathe!"

The medical examiner's office later ruled Garner's death a homicide, caused by the officer's chokehold as well chest and neck compressions and prone positioning "during physical restraint by police."

Asthma, heart disease and obesity were contributing factors, the medical examiner said.

Chokeholds are banned by the NYPD, but allowed under state law.

In August, Rev. Sharpton led a march and rally on Staten Island demanding justice for Garner.

The march, dubbed "We Will Not Go Back," started at the location where Garner was placed under arrest and went past the office of Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan.

Donovan has sent the case to a grand jury for review. The grand jury will reportedly look at the actions of all police involved, as well as the Emergency Medical Services workers who responded.

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