Mass protests denounce the killing of Eric Garner

SAN FRANCISCO – From coast to coast, protesters once again took to the streets to demand justice for another unarmed person of color who died at the hands of a police officer.

In New York, protesters blocked a highway and marched through Times Square.

In San Francisco, protesters blocked off one of the busiest streets in the city.

The protest was sparked by a decision of a grand jury in New York not to charge a police officer who administered a chokehold on an unarmed black man.

Last July, police confronted Eric Garner on suspicion of selling cigarettes illegally. Garner raised his hands in the air, and told officers not to touch him. A bystander witness video shows an officer grab Garner in a choke hold stance, and then Garner was heard screaming that he couldn’t breathe.

Garner was later pronounced dead and the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

“This is outrageous,” said one of Garner’s friends. “This is an outrage. I am very upset about this verdict. I’m standing here because Eric Garner was my friend. And it was over a lousy cigarette. They killed the man.”

It’s been barely a week when people across the country were devastated by a grand jury decision not to charge a white officer – Darren Wilson – for shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

As people continue to mobilize and cry for justice against these so-called police brutalities, Filipinos in the Bay Area have mixed reactions.

“It’s December today, people are supposed to be shopping,” said Josie, who works along Market St. “This is very scary for us, especially customers.”

“Breaking store windows, I don’t think that’s advisable,” said Tony Cantor. “It’s not good. They can protest as long as it’s peaceful.”

“Doing this peacefully might go ignored, while I do think violence like hurting innocent people and destroying establishments that have nothing to do with what’s happening – I don’t think that’s the way to go,” said Rachel, who was shopping at the time of the protest in San Francisco, “but I guess some people have to gain attention.”

President Barack Obama has promised to make changes to the criminal justice system after the events in Ferguson and New York.

“I’m not interested in talk, I’m interested in action, and I am absolutely committed as President of the United States to making sure that we have a country in which everybody believes in the core principle that we are equal under the law,” said Obama.

With the mass protests and growing distrust of law enforcement in minority communities, the President launched on Monday his new 21st Century Policing Task Force, to start rebuilding trust in the justice system. One of the most talked about suggestions was body-worn cameras on law enforcement officers.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    5 December 2014 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Horrible mistakes from NYPD, the chokehold cop should be charge for manslaughter,the whole police squad should be charge for use of excessive force. NYPD responded, which is in line from Mayor DeBlassio to clean NY street from peddlers.Eric Garner, arrested 30 times is familiar with NYPD arrest procedures. But when he said “Dont touch me” that is already resisting arrest. The NYPD squad leader gave the go ahead to put him down into the ground.Then he said “I could not breath” many time the squad leader should stepped-in and tell his cop to release the chokehold from his neck, instead she let them continue. He died, some leave the scene, some waited for the Ambulance.NYPD were trained to do CPR, they did not bother to revived him, this is again negligence from the cops. Why Grand Jury decision is in favor for NYPD. In my opinion, Mayor DeBlassio is a Democrat this is his baby project, The squad leader is FEMALE,Democrat agenda in preparation for Hillary candidacy is “War on women”. The squad leader is Female and Black, Dems agenda is racism. You can not charge a black officer for racism only white..Obama is playing neutral Democrat agenda will backfire if, there is re-trial.

    • Delia
      7 December 2014 at 4:59 pm - Reply

      This man lost his life for NYC cigarette taxes. And the nanny mentality that NYC has pushed on all of its citizens. The cop was enforcing a law that should be stricken from the books. And the boneheads that wrote it should be the ones on trial for this mans death. Enforcement of a law that should not be is what killed Garner. Not the cops.

  • Delia
    7 December 2014 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Garner’s death was about the state of new yorks zero tolerance policy against the sale of cigarettes from outside the state. The state of new york created a black market for out of state cigarettes because of the prohibitive taxation of cigarettes sold within the state. Most of these fools that participated in his death over cigarette taxes will now begin destroying their livers and their mental health because of a states desire to tax addicts of a legal product beyond all reason. I believe it was mayor Ed Coch who said the people have voted and now its time to punish them.