A Call for 11 Days of Action
[Description copy and pasted directly from #ThisStopsToday website.]
On July 17 2014, Eric Garner cried out “I Can’t Breathe” to NYPD officers as Officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a NYPD-banned chokehold. Eleven times, Garner repeated “I Can’t Breathe”, but Pantaleo never let up despite his pleas and not one of the many officers involved paid attention to his cry. Garner died there, on the street, with at least six officers standing over him as he died, offering no assistance.
The injustice is compounded by the fact that the fatal encounter was initiated by what was likely an unlawful stop escalated by hyper aggressive enforcement, ending in Garner’s death. And while this is an example of a fatal experience with NYPD, communities of color have negative encounters with NYPD often because of Broken Window policing tactics which is characterized by over enforcement of low-level, quality of life offenses.
Video footage of the NYPD killing of Eric Garner has been seen across the world, and worldwide, people demanded justice be served. But, on Wednesday, December 3rd, justice was denied for Garner, his family, and all who believe police violence is unacceptable. The grand jury convened in the Garner case decided not to indict Officer Panteleo or any of the other officers involved.
We won’t stay silent. We can’t stay silent. Across NYC and the country, we have been out on the streets non-stop to highlight the need for change. #ThisStopsToday came together to respond to the Staten Island grand jury’s expected failure to indict officers in the killing of Eric Garner. On Thursday December 4th, over 10,000 New Yorkers joined us to protest in Foley Square. Many in our group were arrested in civil disobedience actions at the Manhattan Bridge and on the Upper West Side.
Countless New Yorkers, mostly Black and Latin@, have been brutalized and beaten by NYPD officers, with inadequate or zero accountability for the incidents – Akai Gurley, Ramarley Graham, Noel Polanco, Shantel Davis, Mohamed Bah, Reynaldo Cuevas, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo are just some of the people who fell victim to police violence. Around the country, the recent killings of Michael Brown, John Crawford and Tamir Rice further expose this as a national crisis of widespread police violence, law enforcement impunity and systemic lack of accountability for police misconduct.
#ThisStopsToday 11 Days of Action
We are calling for eleven days of action – one day for each of Garner’s cries – across NYC starting Wednesday, Dec 10th ending on Saturday Dec 20th and invite you to join us. During this time we will continue the call for accountability and justice for Garner and all other victims of police brutality and violence.