One of the arguments made was that the chokehold did not cause his death because he was able to speak and say, “I can’t breathe.” In the video he was making the statement that he couldn’t breathe after the officer had released the hold and he was being handcuffed face-down, with several officers on top of him. He would not have been able to speak if he were in a chokehold that cut off his airway, but he would have been able to say it if his death was due to chest compression. He was able to force breath from his lungs across his vocal chords, but he was not able to get any air back in. The same way a mouse can still squeak as a boa constrictor squeezes the life out him, Garner was able to make desperate pleas. But every time he did, his time grew shorter and shorter. A chokehold can either cut off air intake through the windpipe or cut off the carotid artery, sending blood to the brain. You can go unconscious quickly, but once it is released, you can continue to breathe normally (it happens in MMA all the time). Not so during an arrest, which can often take several minutes as the officers restrain, cuff, clear the area, and figure out what they are going to do next. With restraint-related asphyxia, it is not like holding your breath, but rather it is having no breath at all because every bit of air has been forced out. This has happened in numerous cases of hospital restraints across the country and has spurned legislation to curb its practice, which is one of the reasons I and other instructors educate mental health care workers in how to properly and safely restrain patients.