Chieftain Press

“I Can’t Breathe.”

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“Hell, no,” Ms. Garner said. “The time for remorse for the death of my husband was when he was yelling to breathe.”

On Wednesday, a Grand Jury in Staten Island brought the case of the white New York police officer whose choke hold on an unarmed black man led to the man’s death, to a close. The response to this is seen in massive outbreaks of mostly peaceful protests.

The video took the internet by storm, causing many shocked reactions. The jury decided there was not enough evidence to charge the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who put the victim, Eric Garner, into a choke hold on video.

An autopsy found that Garner’s death was a result from the choke hold strategy, banned by the Police Department in 1993 — and the pressure on his chest by other officers.

It seems that in the tragic case of Mike Brown,  an unarmed, 18 year old boy who was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri a few months ago, the evidence was unclear, and witnesses had many variations of the same story. However, in this case, the evidence was right in front of our eyes. Garner said repeatedly in the video “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” The controversy resulted from his words and the unorthodox method used to restrain him.

Pantaleo, the officer who killed Garner showed remorse and humanity for his actions, apologizing for the loss of a father, a husband, a community member, but Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Brown, showed little humanity. He was cold, his lines that he spoke in the rare interviews he participated in seemed almost recited.  Even with the apology, the widow of Garner responded, “Hell, no, the time for remorse for the death of my husband was when he was yelling to breathe.”

There are protests around the world, in response to the belief that these deaths were unjustifiable, and a significant percentage of the population believes we need a change. Recently in New York City, the streets were crowded with protesters chanting Garner’s last words, “I Can’t Breathe”, and many were carrying signs with the worldwide trend,”#blacklivesmatter”.

Not all police are violent, most are here to serve and protect us, and they do that well. But the results of these two cases doesn’t seem fair and people are speaking up, standing out and defending the fact.

 

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“I Can’t Breathe.”