feature: nypd officer cleared by grand jury for chokehold death of eric garner

December 3, 2014

A Staten Island grand jury has seen it fit to clear the NYPD officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner – this coming after last week’s grand jury decision in Ferguson which led to Darren Wilson walking free after fatally shooting unarmed Mike Brown. Garner died after a chokehold during an arrest for peddling loose cigarettes; and what is most distressing in this case, is that the entire incident was documented by a cellphone camera. From the video footage, we clearly hear Garner yelling, ‘I can’t breathe!”. A cry for help which we see clearly ignored by the officer choking Garner, and by the officers handcuffing him. So what further evidence do we need that black lives are not prioritised in the United States? A country where the black community are expected by white patriarchy to be content – content with a black president, content with the abolition of slavery, content with the blacks that have led the way and “made it” (particularly those standing at the forefront of sports and entertainment). The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Garner’s death a homicide caused by “compression of neck, compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” “Compression of neck” in this case means chokehold; and last I heard, using a chokehold is banned by the NYPD; so if you wanted a clearer picture of the injustice facing the Black community, take a look at that image of Garner on the ground, or watch the footage below – and let us continue to fight.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor