Gwen Carr feels like the NYPD has never taken accountability for her son’s death and is demanding answers.
During a town hall meeting on Staten Island on Wednesday night, the mother of Eric Garner confronted Mayor Bill de Blasio about the status of her son’s case. Garner died after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a fatal chokehold as Garner cried “I can’t breathe,” four years ago,
“Would you agree to holding all of these officers accountable for their wrongdoing that day?” she asked. “I do not want to play anymore political procrastination.”
“It’s been four years since my son’s murder and it’s been very hard on me and my family, but it seems like the administration is blocking the accountability for the, you know, for the justice for my son and this just makes the four years worse for me,” she said.
“This is not a game. It’s not politics with me and my family. This is serious. My son Eric Garner’s life mattered.”
It bears noting that the grieving mother put the mayor on the spot at Curtis High School, which is less than a mile from where Garner died.
Before responding, De Blasio acknowledged his answer probably wouldn’t bring her much peace.
“I don’t think what I’m going to say is going to satisfy you,” he said. “But I want to just tell you straight up, I have a lot of respect for you.”
After much delay, the NYPD has finally begun disciplinary proceedings against Pantaleo.
Disciplinary charges are also being brought against Sgt. Kizzy Adonis who was on scene. For years de Blasio insisted the department would first wait for the U.S. Justice Department to decide whether to bring civil rights charges. The Feds have yet to make that decision, so this summer the mayor has finally decided to move forward.
Thursday, Carr also met with the Civilian Complaint Review Board to discuss the watchdog group moving forward with its case against Officer Pantaleo.
During a brief press conference after the meeting, Carr reiterated that she wants the other officers charged. “There were several officers who killed my son that day, and I want to see them all held accountable for their misconduct,” she said.
She also shared how dissatisfied she is with her encounter with the Mayor de Blasio the night before.
“He gave me an incomplete answer. It said nothing to what I asked about holding all the officers accountable. This is what I want to see. Why just hold two officers accountable when they were all involved in killing my son?”
“We still need these officers fired who committed this crime,” she later added.