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The July 17, 2014 Police Murder of Eric Garner: Garner’s Family Deserves Justice

The Murder’s Events

On July 17, 2014, at 4:45 p.m., Eric Garner was approached by a plainclothes police officer, Justin Damico, in front of a beauty supply store at 202 Bay Street in the Tompkinsville neighborhood in Staten Island. After telling the police officers, “I was just minding my own business. Every time you see me you want to mess with me. I’m tired of it. It stops today!”[19] Garner raised both his arms in the air and was then put in a chokehold from behind by officer Daniel Pantaleo, in order to be subdued. While Garner repeatedly stated he was not able to breathe, other officers struggled to bring him down onto the sidewalk and have him put his arms behind his back. The video shows officer Pantaleo using his hands to push Garner’s face into the sidewalk. He died a few minutes later.[19][20][21]

The video also showed that police waited seven minutes before giving Garner cardiopulmonary resuscitation.[9][22] Use of the chokehold has been prohibited by New York City Police Department policy since 1993.[23]

Garner’s death was recorded by Ramsey Orta, a friend of Garner’s.[1]

The final autopsy report in Garner’s death showed that Garner did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system and had no head trauma.[24] The New York Times reported that the autopsy suggested his obesity and health problems combined with pinning him to the ground and bringing him down with a chokehold may have caused his fatal heart attack.[12]

Three weeks after recording his friend’s arrest on his cell phone, Ramsey Orta was arrested on weapons charges, possibly causing a conflict of interest for the prosecutor.[25] One week after, Orta’s wife was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault.[26]

The Investigation Into Eric Garner’s Murder

On July 20, 2014, the officer who grabbed Garner by the neck, Daniel Pantaleo,[11] was put on desk duty and stripped of his service handgun and badge.[27] Officer Justin Damico was allowed to keep his badge and handgun but was placed on desk duty.[28] Four of the EMTs and paramedics who responded to Garner after he was put in a chokehold were suspended without pay on July 21,[11] while the hospital they worked at, Richmond University Medical Center, conducted its own investigation into the incident.[29]

Garner’s death was found by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office to be a result of compression to the neck, compression to the body, and prone positioning, along withasthma, heart disease and obesity as contributing factors.[30] On August 1, the medical examiner’s spokeswoman, Julie Bolcer, announced that Garner’s death has been ruled a homicide.[20][31]

As of August 1, 2014 Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. is in the process of deciding whether to empanel a grand jury and charge the officers involved in the death of Garner.[20]

The Public Reaction To Eric Garner’s Murder

Public reaction[edit]

Al Sharpton and Eric Garner’s wife, Esaw Garner (right), at a protest in Staten Island on July 19, 2014.

Al Sharpton organized a peaceful protest in Staten Island on the afternoon of July 19, and condemned the police’s use of the chokehold on Garner, saying that “there is no justification” for it.[32]

On July 29, 2014, a protest was held in Times Square, organized by WalkRunFly Productions and poet Daniel J. Watts. The protest was in the form of poetry and many Broadway entertainers participated in the event.[33] Al Sharpton originally planned to lead a protest on August 23, in which participants will drive over the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, then travel to the site of the altercation and the office of District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.[34] This idea was scrapped in favor of Sharpton leading a peaceful march along Bay Street in Staten Island, where Garner died; police estimated that over 2,500 people participated in the march.[35][36]


Bill de Blasio, at a July 31 roundtable meeting in response to the death, convened with police officers and political activists, called upon mutual respect and understanding. On August 1, in his statement, the mayor urged all parties involved to create a dialogue, and find a path “to heal the wounds from decades of mistrust and create a culture where the police department and the communities they protect respect each other”.[39][40]


As a result of Eric Garner’s death, Police Commissioner William Bratton ordered an extensive review of the NYPD’s training procedures after Garner’s death, specifically focusing on the appropriate amount of force that can be used while detaining a suspect.[21]

The Funeral of Eric Garner

A funeral was held for Garner on July 23, 2014, at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn. At the funeral, Al Sharpton gave a speech calling for harsher punitive measures to be taken against the officers responsible for putting Garner in the chokehold.[41]

Source: Wikipedia

BREAKING: Ferguson City Officials Still Haven't Met with the Family of Michael Brown [TW: Racism, Ethnocentrism, White Privilege]



On Wednesday night, Daily RFT had an opportunity to speak with Ferguson Mayor James Knowles about the previous evening’s city council meeting and a raft of changes to the city’s municipal code. At the meeting, he was asked dozens of questions which he could not — according to standard council operating procedure — answer. More than one of the speakers during the public comment asked why the city of Ferguson has not apologized to the family of Michael Brown (though one sniffed that at this point an apology would be meaningless anyway).

Daily RFT put that question to Knowles Wednesday night. He said, “I know [Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson] was able to meet with them the day of the incident and express our condolences. Very quickly attorneys got involved. Early on we tried to have a couple meetings with the family.”

Daily RFT then called Anthony Gray, the local attorney on the legal team for the family of Brown, to confirm that account. Gray emphatically denied that the city reached out, either to him or to Brown’s parents, for a meeting.

"No. I know of no effort of the mayor of Ferguson trying to reach out to the family. I know of absolutely no efforts whatsoever, and the suggestion is almost offensive to be honest with you," Gray said.

Click here for all coverage of Michael Brown’s death and the unrest in Ferguson.

NPR_ferguson_forum_wellspring_church_knowles.jpg August Jennewein, courtesy UMSLMayor James Knowles, second from the left, at an NPR forum. Michel Martin, right.

Back on August 13, Chief Jackson did tell the media he was going to meet with the family — you can watch the video of that announcement here, in a Huffington Post article titled “Ferguson Police to Meet with Michael Brown’s Mother.” Knowles told an NPR forum hosted by Michel Martin on August 28 that a meeting between the chief of Ferguson police and the family took place, and that he’d also made attempts (relevant tape between 1:03 and 1:04):

Martin: Have you ever, forgive me, apologized to the family for the way he was treated?

Knowles: I have not had the opportunity to meet with his family.

Martin: Why not?

Knowles: Our chief did have an opportunity both with his mother that day, express the condolences and sympathies of our city and our department. We also have met with his family. We’ve tried in the subsequent weeks to have meetings, unfortunately the family has sent representatives instead of coming themselves but…unfortunately I have not had that opportunity.

Martin: Why don’t you just go to them? Why don’t you just go to them and say, ‘As your mayor I’m sorry and we’ll look into this?’ Did that not occur to you?

Knowles: We’ve invited them to come to us, we’ve tried to reach out, absolutely, absolutely the sympathies of the city and myself are clearly with the family.

Gray also told Daily RFT that not only has the mayor of Ferguson not reached out to the family, they also have not met with Chief Jackson, not the day of the shooting, not ever.

"Somebody should have explained to [the mother] and the father why they were there, tried to make some effort to console them at that point," said Gray. "The fact that they want to do it later…I find it highly offensive.

"They missed a whole bunch of opportunities in between that — like I just told you," Gray continues. "They had the mother and father right there at the scene. I’m not aware of Chief Jackson talking to anybody."

Gray then called Michael Brown Sr., Mike’s father, while on the phone with Daily RFT to confirm that there was no misunderstanding.

"You guys were at the scene, I saw you. No police officer came over to you while Mike Mike was laying in the street," Gray said, apparently into a speakerphone with Brown Sr.

"We asked plenty of times. I got no information," said Brown Sr. "No."

"I want to make sure that I’m not missing anything," said Gray. "The answer is not only just no…I’m just going to say no. I do not recall anyone reaching out to me saying either the chief or the mayor want to talk to the family and I am the local point person for this family."

Eric Davis, a cousin of Michael Brown and a spokesman for the family, also said he was not aware of anyone speaking with the mother, Lesley McSpadden, at the scene.

"They would not let her go to her child’s body," he told Daily RFT. "That was the only time that they talked to her and they told her to get back."

A meeting between the parents of Brown and Chief Jackson was indeed scheduled for August 14, arranged by members of the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP. Chapter president Adolphus Pruitt acknowledged that he was the go-between, but first organized a kind of pre-meeting with Jackson, several members of the NAACP and members of the U.S. Justice Department’s Community Relations Services. The family was not present. It was at that meeting that Jackson revealed he was preparing to release a surveillance tape of Mike shoplifting at a local convenience store the same day as the shooting.

"We met with [Jackson] and in that meeting he told us emphatically that he had so much pressure on him from media wanting access to that tape that if we could assist him in any way to not do that, he would appreciate it," Pruitt told Daily RFT.

Pruitt said that after learning of the existence and potential release of the surveillance video, they decided to scuttle the meeting between Jackson and the parents.

"It would not have been a good thing for him to sit up in front of the family talking about reconciliation and he just dropped that bombshell trying to damage the guy’s reputation," said Pruitt. "We decided that was probably not a good thing to do."

Pruitt said he and the DOJ representative who was also at the meeting went to work looking for reasons to legitimize not releasing the tape, and were stunned when Jackson went ahead with the release on August 15. Pruitt said he was further taken aback after an article on the Blot revealed that only one Sunshine Request filed with the Ferguson Police Department directly requested video and that the language of the request was very broad: “events leading up to and including the shooting of Michael Brown.”

Pruitt has subsequently fired off several letters to the DOJ and local U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan charging that Chief Jackson released the video “under false circumstance not only to constitute a breach of trust with both the Press & Community; but also a possible attempt to influence the outcome of the Federal Investigation with respect to the shooting of Michael Brown.” Read one of these letter below:

USDOJ Deputy Chief Christy Lopez Letter 09.05.14

Daily RFT then circled back to Mayor Knowles who confirmed Pruitt’s account of the meeting between Jackson and the NAACP. Knowles said the original plan had been for he and Jackson to sit down with the family and explain about the existence of the surveillance tape.

"The meeting was supposed to go down the day or two day before the release of the tape to let the family know what the situation was, what the request was and what we would have to do, so they could see and understand from our perspective what we’re trying to do and not trying to do, which is defame them," said Knowles. "The hope was to meet before so they understood the sincerity that we didn’t want to offend them, we didn’t want to upset them, we wanted them to be able to see that."

Knowles said he was personally asked by television reporters about the existence of a shoplifting tape and that those kinds of verbal requests pushed the release as well.

"Our attorney said we had to release the information."

Since the tape’s release Knowles said he’s not sure “how many times we’ve reached out to them directly,” but that he has not personally contacted any representatives of the family or the family’s legal team. He reiterated that he sends his condolences.

"I know it’s been a very difficult time for a lot of people. I would hope at some point I’d be able to meet with the family face to face. I realize it’s a trying to time for them," he said. "My door is always open to any resident of Ferguson."

Source: Jessica Lussenhop for The Riverfront Times

And they are still lying faster than a horse can trot. Do they seriously think that nobody’s going to check this shit?









A NYC grad student working on food stamps for her thesis has released a free cookbook for those living on $4/day.



oooooh this is so nice!

I believe it’s important to eat well, even when you’re strapped for cash. It’s good for your health and energy! This cookbook is full of delicious and healthy recipes, the ingredients of which are fairly inexpensive.


Boost so hard. Feeding yourself well is a challenge when you”ve got little income

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