Earlier today, protesters marched through Staten Island in hopes of getting swift justice against the arresting officers that allegedly put Eric Garner in a chokehold after Garner refused to be handcuffed and which subsequently led to his death. The protest started at the park where Garner was confronted by the police and ended at the precinct where the officers involved were stationed.
“It ends today” was the mantra of the demonstrators which was comprised of relatives and friends of Eric Garner as well as local elected officials and other people appalled at the situation. There were about 100 people total in the march.
When the demonstrators reached their final destination, the relatives of Garner’s lit multiple candles in his memory and set them near the entrance of the precinct. An amateur video of Garner’s arrest, on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes, shows an officer putting him in an apparent chokehold after he refuses to be handcuffed.
You can hear Garner telling officers repeatedly that he can’t breathe after they push him to the ground, however a good 30 seconds elapse before they get off. Ellisha Flagg, sister to Eric Garner, believe that the chokehold exacerbated Garner’s asthma.
The use of a chokehold is a tactic that’s banned by the NYPD, however this type of brutality has been the subject of more than 1,000 complaints to the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board over the last five years.
A funeral for Garner, who was 43, is scheduled for Wednesday evening in Brooklyn.