Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr on George Floyd’s death: ‘It’s a recurring nightmare’

    The still-grieving mother spoke to the Floyd family as they come to terms with a similar loss.

    Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on policing practices in the United States. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

    If there’s anyone who understands what the family of George Floyd is going through, it’s Gwen Carr. She is the mother of Eric Garner, the man who was killed by police in Staten Island, N.Y. when former NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo placed Garner in an illegal chokehold.

    READ MORE: George Floyd’s family wants Minneapolis officers charged with murder

    Floyd, 46, the Minneapolis man killed by police on Memorial Day when an officer placed a knee on his neck, said “I can’t breathe” before he lost consciousness. It is almost the same sequence of events that led to Garner’s death.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 17: Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner participates in a protest to mark the five year anniversary of the death of Garner during a confrontation with a police officer in the borough of Staten Island on July 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Pantaleo was fired but was never charged or tried. Carr hopes that’s not the case for the four now-former Minneapolis police officers.

    “I don’t see any justification,” Carr told NBC News after watching some of the video. “To put your knee on someone’s neck, you are obstructing their breathing. That is completely a no-no.”

    Carr called Floyd’s death a “recurring nightmare” as it so closely echoes what happened to her son in 2014. Garner was alleged by police to be selling illegal loose cigarettes outside a store in Staten Island when he was approached by police. In a confrontation after Garner asked to be left alone, Pantaleo restrained him with a chokehold banned by the NYPD.

    Pantaleo was fired in 2019 but is suing the NYPD to get his job back.

    Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network facilitated a call between Carr and the Floyd family, they confirmed in a press release.

    “I feel the pain and hurt from George’s family and my whole heart goes out to them,” Carr said in the release. “As I was talking to them, I relived what happened to Eric and tears overwhelmed me. I will work with NAN and Rev. Sharpton and supporters of George Floyd as we fight for accountability and justice.”

    READ MORE: Additional video shows George Floyd was not resisting arrest 

    The Floyd family has retained Benjamin Crump, the attorney who worked with the Garner family. In 2015, the family was awarded $5.9M in a wrongful death claim.

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