5 December 2014 - Demonstrations across the country over chokehold death decision
Thousands across USA protest NYC chokehold death
Melanie Eversley (USA Today)
NEW YORK — Protesters across the nation swarmed city streets on Thursday to voice outrage and their demands for police and judicial reform in the wake of Eric Garner's death and the refusal by a grand jury to indict the officer who put a chokehold on him.
From One Police Plaza in New York City to Oakland, Calif., and from Chicago to Savannah, Ga., people unhappy with the lack of an indictment in the July death of Garner, 43, stopped traffic and staged "die ins" in which groups of people lay down on sidewalks or floors. The protests were mostly peaceful.
Protesters communicated and shared photos of their efforts and emotions on social media, making @ICantBreathe a trending hashtag. On a cellphone video of the chokehold incident in Staten Island, Garner, an asthmatic, is heard saying "I can't breathe" to at least eight times after Officer Daniel Pantaleo administered the chokehold.
Ashley Southall (The New York Times)
Thousands of demonstrators poured out in cities across the country on Thursday night in a show of outrage over a grand jury’s decision the previous day not to indict a white New York City police officer whose chokehold caused an unarmed black man’s death.
The protests drew crowds in New York, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Washington. Many chanted the last words of the man, Eric Garner, 43, of Staten Island: “I can’t breathe.” In some places, they grew disruptive, snarled traffic on major arteries and lay down in the streets.
For the second night in a row, several groups of protesters roamed through Manhattan. They caused lanes to be closed on the Brooklyn Bridge, on the West Side Highway and at the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. The protesters also targeted the Staten Island ferry terminal. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested, but officials did not provide further details.
About 300 people moving north on Broadway toward Times Square laid down at 34th Street for 11 minutes of silence to commemorate the number of times Mr. Garner was heard in a video of his fatal encounter saying he could not breathe. The protesters then moved north and onto Seventh Avenue, where they were involved in a skirmish with police officers blocking the intersection of 42nd Street.
Karen Tumulty (The Washington Post)
Two events unfold in a strikingly similar way, just a week apart: After an unarmed African American man dies at the hands of a white police officer, a grand jury declines to bring that officer to trial. Protests ensue.
But the political conversations surrounding the two cases have been very different.
The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., became an inkblot test illuminating the nation’s deeply rooted political and racial divides.
The fatal use of a banned chokehold on Eric Garner, an asthmatic father of six and grandfather of two, in New York City seems to have had the opposite effect — bringing wide condemnation crossing racial, partisan and ideological lines. Conservatives have joined liberals in denouncing the Staten Island grand jury’s decision Wednesday as a miscarriage of justice.
Dana Ford, Greg Botelho and Ben Brumfield (CNN)
So who was Eric Garner? Before his death at the age of 43, he was a father of six, as well as a grandfather.
He was also someone with a history of run-ins with the law, including 30 arrests. When police confronted him in July, they suspected that he was illegally selling untaxed cigarettes -- something for which he had previously been arrested.
But his family, and its supporters, can't understand how anyone could think officers' actions that day were justified.
Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, wondered how the grand jury -- which was of mixed race and heard from dozens of police and civilian witnesses between September 29 and December 3 -- could decide there wasn't "probable cause" for an indictment after seeing the widely distributed video.
And his widow, Esaw Garner, was angry that "somebody that gets paid to do right did wrong" and was not held accountable for it.
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"5 December 2014 - Demonstrations across the country over chokehold death decision", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/5-december-2014-demonstrations-across-the-country-over-chokehold-death-decision