Report: Medical examiner in federal probe of Eric Garner case is former New York cop

The medical examiner in the federal probe of the chokehold death of Eric Garner has ties to the NYPD and Staten Island.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

The medical examiner in the federal probe of the chokehold death of Eric Garner has ties to the New York Police Department and Staten Island.

According to a Daily News exclusive, Lieutenant Col. Philip Berran, who is currently stationed at Armed Forces Medical Examiner System at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, worked for the NYPD as a police officer for six years before he quit the force to join the Army and go to medical school. Now, he is an Army pathologist looking into the death of Eric Garner in order to determine whether or not the officers involved violated Garner’s civil rights.

“When I became a cop I never thought anything would get me out of the police world,” Berran is quoted as saying in Switching Careers published by Kiplinger Books.

“Then I found something more interesting that combines all my skills, policing, law and medicine.”

He added, “My interest in pathology began with my admiration for the work of the New York City Medical Examiner.”

What’s more, Berran was raised on Staten Island, and his grandfather was also a cop, further strengthening his ties to the police force there.

Despite his NYPD ties, however, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by the Garner family to investigate Garner’s death, believes that the video evidence as well as the autopsy results will be enough to convince Berran that there is evidence of neck compression.

“I would think that the military person (Berran) would agree that was the cause of death,” Baden said.

Garner was killed last summer after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold. Garner was stopped on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, and a bystander recorded the entire altercation on video.

In December 2014, a New York City grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo for his role in Garner’s death.