“I can’t breathe” has become a rallying cry among civil rights and Black Lives Matter protesters; the phrase symbolizes the struggle faced by Black Americans fighting to survive under systemic oppression and police brutality. It also reimagines the death of Eric Garner, who struggled to utter these words as a police officer held him in a fatal chokehold.
More than four years later, Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, is demanding that all officers involved with her son’s death be fired.
Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Garner, has been on desk duty since the incident took place, SI Live reports. Federal prosecutors took up the investigation after the initial panel, announcing in July that the officer would be charged with violating department regulations.
On Thursday, Pantaleo will appear for a discovery hearing meant to focus on whether any new information has been discovered since a panel decided not to charge him in 2014.
Carr’s commitment to seeking justice for her son has not wavered.
“We are not going to stand for this, we are out here because we are outraged and we are not going to take this anymore,” Carr said on the steps of City Hall. “It’s not only for me; it’s for other New Yorkers; it’s for people around the nation; we demand justice, and we haven’t gotten that yet.”
“Over the last four and a half years, we’ve seen nothing but delay, obstruction and shielding of abuse of police officers by the NYPD and de Blasio administration,” Co-Director of the Justice Committee Yul-San Liem told SI Live.
Both Carr and the nation await the Department of Justice’s conclusion regarding its investigation that would consider whether the chokehold constitutes a federal crime.
Now, check these out: