Mother of Eric Garner, Youth Organizations, Elected Officials and Hundreds of New Yorkers Call on Mayor de Blasio and NYPD to Hold All Officers Involved in Garner's Unjust Killing Accountable
New York, NY – On the fifth anniversary of the unjust killing of Eric Garner -- and one day after the DOJ’s refusal to bring federal charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo -- Garner's mother Gwen Carr, Make the Road New York’s Youth Power Project, Rockaway Youth Task Force and other Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) members and partners, held a youth-led rally and march on July 17, 2019 to call on Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD to end their obstruction and delays and move to fire all officers responsible for misconduct in Garner's killing.
“We have been failed by every level of the justice system but we will not stop fighting for Eric,” said Gwen Carr and Ellisha Flagg-Garner. “It is past time for Mayor de Blasio to fire Daniel Pantaleo, Justin D'Amico, Sgt. Kizzy Adonis, Lt. Christopher Bannon, Mark Ramos, Craig Furlani and others who engaged in serious misconduct surrounding the murder of Eric. They should not be police officers and New Yorkers should not be paying their salary increases, year after year. Keeping them on the NYPD makes all of us less safe because they are dangerous. It sends the message that officers who kill, lie in official reports, falsify charges, refuse to intervene or provide aid will be protected by NYC. We will not stop fighting until there is accountability for Eric and for all New Yorkers.”
The event, 5 YEARS LATER – WE ARE #ERICGARNER began at 4:00 p.m. at Foley Square in downtown Manhattan.
In 2014, Pantaleo killed Eric Garner with a chokehold that has been banned by the NYPD for over two decades. On Tuesday, July 16, the Justice Department announced they will not bring federal charges against Pantaleo. Ms. Carr is calling on the NYPD to fire not only Pantaleo but all other officers responsible for misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner and attempts to cover it up.
Hundreds of youth and others marched with coffins and signs demanding the firing of officers responsible for misconduct in Eric Garner's killing, joined by CPR members and partners including Make the Road New York, Rockaway Youth Task Force, Brotherhood/SisterSol, FIERCE, DRUM, Girls for Gender Equity, NYCLU, Churches United for Fair Housing, Future of Tomorrow, Groundswell, Justice Committee, MomsRising, Arab American Association of NY and others.
MARIAM ALIYU, MEMBER OF MAKE THE ROAD NEW YORK YOUTH POWER PROJECT
“It's been five years since the killing of Eric Garner. People around the world saw the video where Eric was killed by Officer Daniel Pantaleo who used a chokehold that’s been banned by the NYPD for over 20 years. We saw other officers stand around and do nothing to intervene or aid Eric Garner as he pleaded ‘I can’t breathe’ eleven times. Every second, minute, and day all the officers have been on the NYPD receiving pay raises. We have been reminded that the Mayor and Police Commissioner don’t care about us, don’t value our lives. We are Eric Garner because it could be us we are fighting for and we are going to fight until Pantaleo and all the officers are fired.”
MILAN TAYLOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT ROCKAWAY YOUTH TASK FORCE
“Many of the members who are a part of the Rockaway Youth Task Force were younger kids when Eric Garner was murdered. This is the world they have grown up in, which shows them that Black lives, their lives, do not matter. The Department of Justice’s decision for Eric Garner’s murder tells our young people that they can die brutally at the hands of the police and that the very system and institutions that are supposed to serve justice in their favor will not actually bring justice. This is why we are protesting against the Department of Justice’s wrongful decision, one that reinforces the notion that that young Black lives do not matter, and why we are calling on Mayor de Blasio to fire Officer Pantaleo and all others who engaged in misconduct related to the killing of Eric Garner.”
JOANNE N. SMITH, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUITY
“It has been five years since the unjust killing of Eric Garner by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, and the justice system has continued to fail the Garner family. The decision to not bring criminal civil rights charges against Officer Pantaleo, or to discipline any of the officers involved in Eric Garner’s murder reflects a deeply flawed and dangerous system. We call on Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill to do what should have been done years ago - fire Daniel Pantaleo. We will continue to stand alongside Ms. Carr and her allies in demanding justice on behalf of Eric Garner and all people wrongfully killed by police violence. Police violence continues to disrupt our communities and families; only through true police accountability can justice be achieved.”
LUIS HERNANDEZ, YOUTH LEADERSHIP + ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR OF THE GATHERING FOR JUSTICE
“The fight for civil rights and equitable accountability in our justice system is far from over. The DOJ’s decision to not charge Daniel Pantaleo in relation to the murder of Eric Garner is an alliance with white supremacy and an acceptance of police brutality. For as long as Black and Brown communities are subject to brutalization at the hands of police – without consequence or recourse, the youth will show up, carry the mantle, and demand justice.”
KHARY LAZARRE-WHITE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER AND MARSHA JEAN CHARLES, LEAD ORGANIZER & LIBERATION PROGRAM FACILITATOR OF BROTHERHOOD/SISTER SOL
“We, of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, believe that justice has been too long denied for Eric Garner, his loved ones, and our fellow New Yorkers steadily following this case. The officers responsible for the death of Eric Garner should have been fired immediately once they killed him. Our communities are, and have been, not only disproportionately, but exorbitantly policed, violated, harmed, and criminalized by the NYPD simply due to who we are and the ways our system dehumanizes our very beings – in the case of Eric Garner, literally not allowed to breathe. What happened to Eric Garner is not only emblematic of this reality but characteristic of a system that does not value our lives. It is unjust and villainous. We stand with the other peoples and organizations calling for the firing of all officers involved in Garner’s murder. A failure to do so makes those in positions of power complicit.”
JUMAANE WILLIAMS, NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC ADVOCATE
“I’ve been fighting alongside Eric Garner’s family and dedicated advocates for five years since he was killed by Daniel Pantaleo. After all of that time we are still pursuing justice. That won’t stop now. I’m looking to the NYPD commissioner and the mayor, who seemingly agree that a tragic injustice occurred—but refuse to do anything to seek justice now. I hope they will do the right thing and fire Pantaleo, but frankly, I’m not sure we should hold our breath.”
ADRIENNE ADAMS, COUNCILMEMBER
“It is inexcusable that the Garner family must still fight for justice five years after Eric Garner’s death. Our justice system has failed them. All officers responsible must be held accountable. Everyday Daniel Pantaleo keeps his job is another day of justice denied. I stand with Gwen Carr in demanding that the officers involved in Eric Garner’s death be held accountable.”
CARL STUBBS, COMMUNITY LEADER AT VOCAL-NY
“My son was killed by the police in 1986 and that was no different than Eric Garner, who was killed by the police five years ago. Right now there is no accountability and the police cannot be trusted. Police need to pay a price when they do something wrong, or else they will just keep doing it. We need to stop this before the next person gets killed.”
“The Brooklyn National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) mourns the tragic loss of Eric Garner by the hands of the NYPD. We stand in solidarity with his family and loved ones in the quest for restorative justice. We disavow the racial disenfranchisement of Black and Brown people. Our rigorous efforts will not end until there is full equity and accountability; and those responsible are brought to justice.”
SAMANTHA SACHS, CO-COORDINATOR OF POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY WORKING GROUP AT SHOWING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE NYC
“It is outrageous that the officer who killed Eric Garner, those who did nothing to stop his murder, and those who lied and covered it up afterward, are all still employed by NYPD. Mayor de Blasio has no place taking credit for addressing abusive policing in NYC—he's had the power to bring some justice to the family of Eric Garner for five years, and he has done nothing. Instead, he passes the buck to the Department of Justice and allows the NYPD and PBA to use stall tactics to deflate the efforts of the Garner family and advocates. Mayor de Blasio must #FirePantaleo now, as well as all the other officers involved in Garner's murder.”
JACKIE ZAMMUTO, US PROGRAM MANAGER, WITNESS
“WITNESS stands in solidarity with the family of Eric Garner and we call on the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio to take action by holding accountable all officers involved in his murder. Five years ago, when Ramsey Orta's video of Eric Garner being murdered by Daniel Pantaelo went viral, it lead to a global movement calling for justice and an end to police brutality. Yet these calls have been met with nothing but an utter lack of transparency, stalling tactics and attempts to discredit Garner's family and the advocates calling for accountability. We demand justice now.”
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 policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.
CPR brings 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 unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.Topics: Eric Garner