Last Friday, 17 July 2015 was the one year anniversary of the murder of Eric Garner for the crime of selling “loosies”, individual cigarettes in front of Bay Beauty Supply on Staten Island. While the coroner declared this a homicide, to date, no one has faced an arrest, in particular Daniel Pantelano, the NYPD Officer carrying out the now infamous and illegal choke-hold leading directly to Eric Garner’s death and his last words: “I can’t breathe.” In fact, the only one arrested regards this murder was Ramsey Orta, who took the cell phone video of the murder and who is now, together with members of his family, reportedly under regular police harassment.
Today’s memorial at the site of the murder had a somber tone. Eleven white roses, one for each time Eric cried “I can’t breathe,” were laid one upon another, with the crowd repeating his cry for life. Nydia placed one of these on behalf of the Grannies. Yes, there was anger expressed. Disappointment. Chants for justice for Eric Garner and all the black lives being lost to police violence. Concern for Ramsey Orta, a hero for sharing the video of the event, knowing how this could adversely affect his life.
We express our condolences to the family of Eric Garner. No Justice/No Peace.
Alice, Eva-Lee, Marty, Nydia, Tibby
– Marty Rajandran
for the Granny Peace Brigade