Chokehold death: “I can't breathe!” New York chants Eric Garner's last words in protest

Even as the dust is yet to settle on Ferguson fury over Michael Brown's death, the city of New York saw fresh protests on Thursday as in a similar case another white police officer Daniel Pantaleo was acquitted in the chokehold death case of a black unarmed man.

Chokehold death: “I can't breathe!” New York chants Eric Garner's last words in protest

New York: Even as the dust is yet to settle on Ferguson fury over Michael Brown's death, the city of New York saw fresh protests on Thursday as in a similar case another white police officer Daniel Pantaleo was acquitted in the chokehold death case of a black unarmed man.

The case in question this time is that of death of Eric Garner, who was reportedly stopped by the police on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on July 17 on a Staten Island sidewalk. He was choked to death on the same day as the police kept him pinned down as he kept on shouting “I can't breathe! I can't breathe!”.

The incident was videotaped by Garner's friend and went viral, sparking anger across the nation.

In the video, one can see how an asthamatic Garner is being manhandled by a bunch of white cops who pin him down after he tried to resist their hold verbally.

However, what has sparked fresh protests across the US city is the Wednesday's verdict by new York's Grand Jury to not charge the white cop named Daniel Pantaleo in the case despite the video.

In a heart-melting tribute to Eric Garner, New Yorkers protesting peacefully in Times Square held high banners that read “I can't breathe” and chanted the same three words repeatedly.

Even though the local investigation has concluded in the case, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will proceedwith a federal civil rights investigation into Garner’s death.

Calling Garner's chokehold death a tragedy, Holder said that the “prosecutors will conduct an independent, thorough, fair and expeditious investigation”.

“We have all seen the video of Mr. Garner’s arrest.  His death, of course, was a tragedy.  All lives must be valued,” he said.

Referring to Ferguson's shooting case of Michael Brown, Holder said, “Garner’s death is one of several recent incidents across the country that have tested the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they are charged to serve and protect.”

“This is not a New York issue or a Ferguson issue alone.  Those who have protested peacefully across our great nation following the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson have made that clear,” he added.

President Barack Obama said that the incident "speaks to larger issues" between minorities and law enforcement, the BBC reported.

The New York protests sparked by Wednesday's jury announcement come just days after a similar case in Ferguson sparked weeks of protest as a black unarmed teenager was shot dead by a white cop named Darren Wilson on August 9.

 

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