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In a searing video op-ed for the New York Times, Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner urged NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio to once and for all bring charges against the officer who choked her son to death on video warning “This is your last chance for justice.”
For four years, Carr has pushed the have the New York City police officer seen on video choking her son to death be punished and held accountable for Garner’s death but to no avail.
In a video for the Times, Carr recounted the day her son was killed and vowed to continue to fight for justice and had a few choice words for the Mayor.
“I can’t breathe,” Carr begins saying in the video, repeating Garner’s last words as officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a chokehold.
“The cause of death is compression of the neck,” she says as the haunting chant “I can’t breathe” echoes in the background.
“Chokehold. Compression of the chest during physical restraint by police.”
“The day that I found out that Eric passed was the most horrific day I had ever experienced. I remember trying to kick the windshield out. I remember trying to open the door and run on the highway,” Carr recalls.
“Later on, I found out that the police had choked him. They have taken my son’s voice away but his mother still has a voice, and I’m gonna use it as long as I have a voice,” she vows.
It’s been almost four years since Garner’s death was ruled a homicide and none of the officers involved have been brought to justice or faced any charges.
At the time, Attorney General Eric Holder promised that the Justice Department would proceed with a federal civil rights investigation in the NYC chokehold death. Since then, the Trump Justice Department hasn’t said whether they will pursue civil rights charges against officer Daniel Pantaleo, reports the NYTimes.
But Carr still holds out hope that New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio will act on the case.
“My message is: Mayor DeBlasio, this stops today,” she said.
“Fire those police officers,” she demands. “Make them stand accountable. This is your last chance for justice,” she warned.
“Officer Pantaleo is getting away with murder. He killed my son and now his life goes on business as usual. If Eric Garner was a white man in the suburbs selling cigarettes on the corner he would have gotten a fine maybe, but he have gotten a fine, maybe, but he wouldn’t have gotten murdered.
“Freddy Gray died after my son. Alton Sterling died after my son. Philando Castille died after my son. Stephon Clark died after my son. How many names do we have to learn and chant in the street?” she asked.
“Tamar Rice. Michael Brown. Sandra Bland.”
“It’s like seeing my son being murdered all over again when I hear their stories,” she said.
“To the media, my son was just a news story. To the police, he was just a nobody. I fight the fight to uphold my child’s name because there is no justice for him because he’s gone. And for me there’s just closure. So I’m fighting for the ones who are still here.”
The Garner family also suffered another tragedy last December, when Eric Garner’s daughter Erica suffered a fatal heart attack.