Here are Eric Garner’s final words before he was choked to death by officers in Staten Island for apparently selling cigarettes on the sidewalk. Garner had just helped break up a fight between three men when the cops started questioning him and things escalated.
“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today… I’m minding my business, officer. I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. Please. Please don’t touch me. Do not touch me. [garbled] I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
When I watched the video, I couldn’t help but shiver and cry. Here was a man who was gang tackled by five police officers and put in a tragic chokehold by Pantaleo, a restraint tactic that is banned by the NYPD. Garner wasn’t cursing at the police officers. He wasn’t physically fighting back. He told them eleven times, “I can’t breathe” and yet they kept him pinned him down while he choked to death, with no attempts made to perform CPR.
I’m afraid for every single person out there looking to make ends meet. I’m afraid for the people who have to work in an oppressive environment because they have no other choice. I’m afraid that some of the people we’re supposed to respect and trust to protect us, are the ones who are killing people for a minor offense.
Every year that goes by, I hope the system gets better. It never does. The system perpetually fails us. If you are at taxpayer, you should be outraged by what happened to Eric Garner. If you are a parent, you should be irate that six children no longer have their father, who was described as a “neighborhood peacemaker” and a caring man.
Eric Garner’s death is a sad day for America. The coroner ruled it a homicide, yet a grand jury still decided not to indict the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner. Shit is fucked up and bullshit.
The grand jury and the police officers can hear Eric Garner. They just chose not to listen.
BREAK FREE FROM THE SYSTEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN
After digesting Eric Garner’s senseless murder and realizing that the system is rigged (no indictment after clear video evidence), I strongly encourage everyone to figure out how to get out of the system as quickly as possible. Whether you are Black, White, Asian, Latino, the system will eventually come for you. If you are a tax payer, you are getting fleeced by corrupt officials who are misappropriating your money. You know what’s best for you, not someone else.
The system is oppressive. Please get motivated to save, take risks, and be free. Once you develop financial freedom, you will no longer have to be under anyone’s thumb.
They can hear your screams, but there’s a good chance they choose not to listen.
You make some good points, however there is one flaw in your argument coroners – do not determine whether a crime occurred. Homicide is a crime and that is the responsibility of a jury. Coroner can only determine the cause of death, i.e. suffocation, heart attack, etc. Any opinion by a coroner on whether a crime occurred is simply that – and diminishes the professional standing of the coroner.
That said, this was a situation grossly mishandled by the City of New York. If this was simply a matter of it being the selling of illegal, untaxed cigarettes, then there were other options for the City to pursue. Use of the police in a confrontational manner immediately raises the risk that something can wrong. Did the police overreact or abuse their power, maybe. The more pertinent question should be, who in City government made the decision that use of the police was the proper thing to do? That is the truly guilty party.
In the big picture City government failed Mr. Garner, failed the police and the City of New York. It’s a tragedy in the truest sense. But to solely blame the police or the justice system is misguided. To do so is to perpetuate a false narrative, promote a lack of understanding of the justice system and provide cover to the root of cause of the problem. That only breeds further problems and perpetuate more failures — it blinds people from reason and reinforces a general ignorance that persists among many. That is good for no one.
Thanks for the clarification on coroners and for your other feedback. It sounds like you are pretty familiar with the legal system and the government. How do you think these type of situations can be avoided in the future?
That is absolutely horrifying!! The protests seem very well-natured given the horrendous situation. He showed no signs of aggression what-so-ever. Its such a shame that in America, this seems to be an almost monthly event! Truly disgusting stuff…
Wow, I feel quite sick after reading this. It’s unbelievable that these things keep happening. If that doesn’t motivate people to break free on their own accord, I don’t know what will. It seems to be the only way the world will change and improve.
I remember seeing headlines in the WSJ about people rioting in NYC last week and now I can completely understand why. It’s very unsettling the way things happened in so many ways. And if it wasn’t for the eye witness videos I don’t think this amount of awareness would have come out. We will probably never know the details of what was said and presented in the court room since everything is sealed, but it seems like things were intentionally setup so the cops wouldn’t get indicted based on the types of charges in the lawsuit, etc. It’s messed up. Garner wasn’t being violent, was clearly being harassed, and was attacked with nobody showing any sign of concern or urgency that he couldn’t breathe and was in need of CPR.