One year after Eric Garner was brought to his knees by a New York Police Department officer and placed in a violent and deadly chokehold for allegedly selling loose cigarettes, marchers will take to the streets today and renew calls to criminally charge the cop in the death captured on viral cell phone video. The anniversary and renewed calls for justice come in the same week that Garner’s family reached a $5.9 million settlement with New York City in his death.
Protests are scheduled to hit all across the country from New York to Connecticut to California, according to a news release from Stop Mass Incarceration. It reads: “We need to be back out in the streets, letting everybody know that we haven’t forgotten, and that we still refuse to suffer these horrors in silence.”
Garner, 43, gasped the words, “I can’t breathe,” as NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a chokehold on a bustling sidewalk in Staten Island, NY exactly one year ago today.
The officer was not charged in the death that emboldened a protest movement against police excessive force in Black communities across the nation. Simultaneously, Garner’s last words became a mantra for the movement. A grand jury in December failed to indict Pantaleo, but the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the death.
Click here for a listing of marches.