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Family of 1994 NYPD Chokehold Victim Reminds Eric Garner’s Family That There’s Still Hope for Justice

Eric Garner case

MICHAEL SCHWARTZ FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The family of Anthony Baez, the Bronx man who was killed after officers placed him in a chokehold back in 1994, is reaching out to the family of Eric Garner to let them know that there is still a chance justice may be served.

After a grand jury failed to indict New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of the Staten Island father of six, it seemed like there was little hope that justice would be served.

The Baez family, however, wants the Garner family to know that the fight isn’t over just yet.

Two decades ago the Baez family was met with the same tragedy of losing a loved one to police brutality.

Anthony was 29 at the time when a football he was tossing around with his brothers accidentally went off course and hit a police cruiser.

The officer, NYPD cop Frank Livoti, was furious and eventually placed Baez in a chokehold.

Baez passed away as a result of the banned maneuver.

Unlike the Garner case, the officer who took Baez’s life was indicted but was then acquitted of the charges of criminally negligent homicide in 1996, the NY Daily News reports.

It was a heart breaking decision, but it wasn’t the end of the family’s push for justice.

Two years later in 1998 Livoti was convicted in federal court for violating Baez’s civil rights.

“It’s a different menu with the federal government, that’s what I learned,” Baez’s mother, 69-year-old Iris Baez, told the NY Daily News. “Their questions are not the same.”

Livoti served seven years behind bars.

Of course, it doesn’t bring Anthony back and it doesn’t make the holidays any easier for the family.

eric garner“Christmas for us is gone,” Baez said. “We don’t celebrate like everyone else, nice and happy. I can’t celebrate Christmas because Anthony loved Christmas.”

The Baez family was also given a $3 million settlement from the NYPD and their street has been renamed in Anthony’s honor.

Now the Garner family is hoping that officer Pantaleo will be held accountable for his actions.

The cases are incredibly similar, including the fact that Pantaleo and Livoti both have the same lawyer, Stuart London.

The grand jury’s decision not to indict the New York officer came shortly after another grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

At the same time major media outlets were constantly delivering the tragic news of yet another unarmed Black teen being killed by police officers.

It was enough to spark what has grown to become an international movement with protests and demonstrations reaching from Los Angeles to London.

Phrases such as “hands up don’t shoot,” “Black lives matter” and “we can’t breathe” have been chanted by a countless amount of protesters who want to see reforms in America’s policies that will actually work to protect the lives of all people, regardless of their race.

 

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One thought on “Family of 1994 NYPD Chokehold Victim Reminds Eric Garner’s Family That There’s Still Hope for Justice

  1. I saw the video of shooting of the 12 year old Rice, it was so saddening that anybody could think a 12 year old is a threat to two trained police officers.

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