Contact: Hilary Lyons 646-653-2871

Statement: Gwen Carr Responds to Judge's Denial of Motion to Reconsider Witnesses

New York, NY – Today, during court proceedings in the historic judicial inquiry into the NYPD killing of Eric Garner and related misconduct, Judge Erika M. Edwards denied a motion by petitioners for reconsideration of witnesses who will be required to testify. On Wednesday, on the heels of earlier testimony by NYPD Chief Reznick that made clear that he had no authority related to NYPD disciplinary matters and that the NYPD didn’t investigate all areas of possible misconduct, petitioners filed a motion to compel the testimony of other City and NYPD officials who do have disciplinary authority and broader authority and oversight responsibilities related to the stop, arrest and killing of Eric Garner as well as related misconduct. Petitioners requested that the court compel testimony from officials who are parallel in rank and senior to Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick”, including Mayor de Blasio, former NYPD Commissioners Bratton and O’Neill, First Deputy NYPD Commissioner Tucker, and former Deputy Commissioner Kevin Richardson. The motion and attachments can be found here.

Below is a statement from Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, in response to Judge Erika M. Edwards’ denial of the motion to reconsider witnesses including Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioners, and other high-ranking officials:

“All week, de Blasio’s lawyers and the court have been telling us this inquiry is about transparency, but they’ve been blocking transparency into the corruption and neglect of duty by City officials since Eric was murdered,” said Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner.  “On Wednesday, we heard from the highest-ranking official on the witness list say there are other City officials who would have been responsible for officer discipline. The judge’s decision today doesn’t make sense. It will block transparency into why discipline did or didn’t happen to officers who engaged in wrongdoing when they helped kill Eric and in their cover-up for the past 7 years. It’s shameful that we won’t be allowed to question Mayor de Blasio, who called for a thorough investigation and never provided one, the NYPD commissioners who had the final decision on discipline and the power to require that other officers and misconduct be investigated, and all other high-ups who allowed officers to get away with lies and obstruction for 7+ years and continue to collect their paychecks. Mayor de Blasio and the City have been trying to shut us down from day one. We think the judge’s decision is wrong and hope that she changes her mind.”

About the Garner judicial inquiry

On August 27, 2019, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Ellisha Flagg-Garner, sister of Eric Garner; Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham; Loyda Colon of Justice Committee; Joo-Hyun Kang of Communities United for Police Reform; Monifa Bandele of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement; Mark Winston Griffith of Brooklyn Movement Center; and Kesi Foster of Make the Road New York, filed a historic petition regarding violations and neglect of duty by the Mayor of New York City, the NYPD Police Commissioner, and other New York City officials related to the killing of Eric Garner. The petition was brought under Section 1109 of the New York City Charter, a “sunlight” provision.

After the City moved to dismiss the lawsuit, Justice Joan A. Madden issued a decision on September 24, 2020, allowing a judicial inquiry, which began this week, to move forward with respect to alleged violations and neglect of duty in connection with: (1) the stop, arrest, and use of force against Mr. Garner; (2) the filing of false official documents concerning Mr. Garner's arrest; (3) the leaking of Mr. Garner's alleged arrest history and medical condition in the autopsy report; and (4) the alleged lack of medical care provided to Mr. Garner by police officers. The judicial inquiry will also examine violations and neglect of duties related to the discipline, or lack thereof, for the officers, in relation to the categories above.

The judicial inquiry began October 25 and is expected to last for approximately two weeks. Judge Erika M. Edwards is presiding. The schedule, which is subject to change, for the proceedings is as follows:

·Monday, October 25th - Friday, October 29th, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

·Wednesday, November 3rd - Friday, November 5th, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

·There may be additional dates during the week of November 8th

About Communities United for Police Reform

Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory and abusive 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