Contact: Hannah Ross (301) 857-1979

Gwen Carr, Communities United for Police Reform Demand de Blasio Stop Obstructing Justice

New York, NY (October 5, 2020) – In response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s legal maneuvering: beginning an appeals process late Friday, October 2nd, seeking to stop a public judicial inquiry into his potential violations and neglect of duty in the killing of Eric Garner, as well as negligence and violations of duty by former NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill and other top NYPD officials, Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, and Loyda Colon of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) issued the following statements:

“It has been more than six long years since the NYPD killed my son, and six long years of cover-ups, obstruction, and excuses from Mayor de Blasio and his entire administration. If they have nothing to hide, then why do they keep standing in the way of this important fight for justice and accountability?” said Gwen Carr. “We have seen the video. We have heard my son cry ‘I can’t breathe’ as he died. Now we have a chance to finally show that the Mayor has allowed the police department to get away with murder – and the related cover-up. The mayor knows this, and that’s why he’s running from justice, attempting to use legal maneuvers and appeals to kick this investigation so far back that it happens when he’s no longer mayor.”

“Justice Madden said it herself: ‘Certainly, the death of an unarmed man during a police arrest raises questions of both the effectiveness and integrity of city government with regard to which the mayor has responsibilities,’” added Loyda Colon, CPR spokesperson and co-director of the Justice Committee. “For years, the City and the NYPD have made every effort to avoid public scrutiny around the NYPD killing of Eric Garner and their insufficient investigations and other responses. There are still officers in the NYPD who engaged in misconduct related to Eric's killing and that's unacceptable. For years, they have done everything they could to stand in the way of justice for Eric Garner, his family – and New Yorkers who want to live without fear of racist police violence. Dropping the appeal won’t change this, but it’s the very least the mayor could do to clear the way for some answers in this still painful and still unresolved tragedy.”


Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday took the first steps to appeal the September 24 ruling by New York State Supreme Court Justice Joan A. Madden which allowed a public judicial inquiry to proceed into the NYPD killing of Eric Garner.

In August 2019, Garner’s mother, sister, and Ramarley Graham’s mother, along with members of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), announced the filing of a petition to New York Supreme Court demanding a judicial inquiry into the violation and neglect of duty by Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner O’Neill and others related to the unjust killing of Garner, the cover-up that continues to this day, and the related failure to discipline officers for misconduct in a meaningful or timely manner.

Mayor de Blasio responded to this request for justice by filing a motion to dismiss the petition. Justice Madden heard arguments in the city’s motion to dismiss in August 2020 and denied the majority of the motion to dismiss in September. Late on Friday, October 2nd, the de Blasio administration filed a Notice of Appeal.

Parties to the petition include Gwen Carr, Ellisha Flagg Garner, Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, Loyda Colon of Justice Committee, Joo-Hyun Kang of Communities United for Police Reform, Monifa Bandele of MomsRising, Mark Winston Griffith of Brooklyn Movement Center, and Kesi Foster of Make the Road. They are represented by Alvin Bragg, Gideon Oliver, and Melissa Toback Levin.


About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.

Topics: Eric Garner