Medical examiner's report and autopsy
On August 1, 2014, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Garner's death a homicide. According to the medical examiner's definition, a homicide is a death caused by the intentional actions of another person or persons, which is not necessarily an intentional death or a criminal death.
Garner's death was also found by the medical examiner to have resulted from "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police". Asthma, heart disease, and obesity were cited as contributing factors. Prior to that, on July 19, 2014, The New York Post published a report, citing unnamed sources, claiming the medical examiner had found no damage to Garner's "windpipe or neckbones" during a preliminary autopsy.
Garner's family hired Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner, to perform an independent autopsy. Baden agreed with the findings of the Medical Examiner's Office and concluded that Garner's death was primarily caused by "compression of the neck". Baden reported finding hemorrhaging around Garner's neck, which was indicative of neck compression.