Trending Topics

‘They Just Bum-rushed Us,’ Mother of Eric Garner Speaks Out After Police Make Arrest at Protest

Five protesters seeking justice after the choking death of Eric Garner were arrested Thursday when they blocked traffic on a public street near the mayor’s mansion.

The protesters, including National Action Network official Kirsten John Foy and Brooklyn activist Rev. Kevin McCall, were arrested after they sat down on a crosswalk at York Ave. and E. 88th St., according to the New York Daily News.

The news outlet reported that as protesters including Garner’s mother Gwen Carr marched onto York Ave., they came face to face with a line of uniformed officers who ushered them onto the sidewalk.

“You’re pushing Gwen Carr! You’re pushing Gwen Carr! Why are you pushing Gwen?” a man reportedly screamed to officers.

“They just bum-rushed us,” Carr said.

During the protest which Rev. Al Sharpton also attended, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was planning an invite-only event for Harlem Week.

Still, he and his wife invited Sharpton, Carr and Garner’s daughter Emerald Garner inside the mansion to talk, according to video the mayor’s office posted Friday.

De Blasio said he heard about the protest in advance but he wanted the family to know “they were welcome inside Gracie Mansion to be able to bring their feelings forward.”

He went on to say that Pantaleo’s fate with the New York Police Department will be determined by a city disciplinary process next month.

“That process, regardless of anything else that they have experienced, that process will be fair and will be impartial,” de Blasio said in the video.

Protesters seeking justice for Garner have said the process so far has been anything but fair.

Garner, an unarmed Black man, was accused of selling single cigarettes outside a store on Staten Island when Officer Daniel Pantaleo tried to arrest him by placing him in a chokehold July 17, 2014.

Garner died after the encounter when he was taken to Richmond University Medical Center.

The recent arrests happened on the third day of protests following the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision Tuesday not to file civil rights charges against Pantaleo.

On day two, protesters chanted “I can’t breathe” — Garner’s last words — 11 times for each time Garner made the plea to police officers before his death.

Related: ‘Shut It Down!’ Protesters Carry Coffins, Block NYPD Entrance Demanding Justice for Eric Garner

On day one, Emerald Garner shouted for justice on the steps of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

“I’m going to stand outside and I’m going to scream it,” Emerald Garner said. “Pantaleo needs to be fired. He needs to be fired.”

Protesters have said they are planning 11 Days of Outrage to bring justice for the Garner family.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar hasn’t attended the protests, but she used her platform to speak out for Garner on Twitter Thursday.

She is one of four minority congresswomen President Donald Trump told on Twitter Sunday to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Related: Rep. Ilhan Omar Is Unbothered, Gives Classy Response After Trump Supporters Chant ‘Send Her Back!’ at Rally

“This is not justice,” Omar said linking to an article on Twitter about the Justice Department decision. “In order to address the systematic and institutionalized racism in our country, we must confront police brutality and hold those who perpetrate it accountable.”

Another of the four congresswomen, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th District, called the Department of Justice decision “an injustice” Tuesday on Twitter. “It is further proof we have a criminal justice system that grants some families justice, yet denies it to others,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Back to top