Below were Eric Garner’s fateful last words as he was being choked to death by Officer Daniel Pantaleo for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. If you haven’t seen the video already, you need to. Eric Garner is just one more unarmed black male killed by police officers under the pretense of “protect and serve,” and a failure to hold police accountable for their transgressions has led to a large scale peasants’ revolt.
Eric can be seen on the video repeatedly saying:
I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.
After the grand jury’s decision not to charge Officer Pantaleo, New York City and the entire nation are taking to the streets in protests, again. The protests now and forever in the future will only stop when the message finally rings clear, just as Eric Garner said in his final moments:
It stops today. It stops today.
The officer who killed Mr. Garner said he regretted what had happened, unlike the lack of remorse shown in the Ferguson incident, but his widow, Esaw Garner, was not ready to accept it. After the grand jury decision was made public – Mrs. Garner spoke at a press conference where she said:
Hell no. The time for remorse for the death of my husband was when he was yelling to breathe.
The nation is not ready to accept it because it keeps happening. Protests involving thousands of people have been springing up all over New York City and various cities across the United States. Chants of “Justice for who? Eric Garner!” broke out in front of 202 Bay St., the beauty supply shop where Garner was placed in a choke-hold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo and taken to the ground with the help of other cops as he pleaded “I can’t breathe!”
At a news conference Wednesday night, Rev. Al Sharpton vowed to organize a Dec. 13 march on Washington.
Rev. Sharpton stated adamantly:
We are not going away. It will not get too cold, the snow will not get too high. This is going to be a winter that we are going to freeze out police brutality in this country.
Here is a picture of police blocking access to Radio City:
In Times Square:
Here are some protesters in the Grand Central Terminal doing a “die-in”:
And, in Manhattan:
Martin Luther King in his famous”I have a dream” speech uttered these words:
We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.
While the United States may have come a long way since the time of MLK, there is still work to be done. And, our President acknowledges this in a statement he made after the NYC grand jury’s decision:
When anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that’s a problem. It’s incumbent on all of us as Americans …that we recognize that this is an American problem and not just a black problem. It is an American problem when anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law.
It’s not just a black problem. This is not just about a white cop killing a black man. This is about fixing an unjust system that has led to countless victims dying due to aggressive, illegal or negligent actions by the police officers who were sworn to “protect and serve.”