The tragic loss of Eric Garner at the hands of police sparked nation-wide outrage in 2014. The latter served as yet another example which further fueled the enduring fight of the Black Lives Matter movement. Moreover, it the unfortunate event also increased scrutiny surrounding the police’s treatment of Black and Brown individuals. While the words “I can’t breathe” were part of Garner’s final say as the police placed him in a fatal chokehold, they also became the leading chant of protestors when the police officers involved in the case walked free.
A recent report by the New York Times now indicates the police officer behind the chokehold that killed Garner is facing a public trial which may jeopardize his current employment status. To note, officer Daniel Pantaleo still denies any wrongdoing in the Garner case and insist on not having used a chokehold, but instead a police training method called “the seatbelt.”
The trial is set to begin on Monday at the police headquarters. While the city offered a $5.9 million dollar stipend to the family following the dismissal of criminal charges, Eric Garner’s family is still seeking justice. As such, the disciplinary hearing is timely and may somewhat serve as the attribution of police accountability in the tragic matter. Gwenn Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, precisely shared in an interview: “It’s about all of those officers who committed an injustice that day and they all need to stand accountable.”