Saturday’s Rain Couldn’t Stop This Rally Marking the Anniversary of Eric Garner’s Death

Anniversary Protest of Eric Garner's Death

Marking the anniversary of Eric Garner’s Death with a call for action…

In honor of the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death, this past Saturday hundreds met in Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn to raise awareness and demand police reform.Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr was joined by mothers from across the nation who have also lost their sons in high profile police confrontations.  By Carr’s side were Oscar Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson, Ramarley Graham’s mother Constance Malcolm, Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden and Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton.  In reference to this group of mothers Ms. Carr emphatically said “This club is full.  It’s closed.” Rev. Al Sharpton was also in attendance amongst other community leaders and activists.

Anniversary Eric Garner

The theme of the day was reform all around including retraining of police nationwide but the main item on the docket was the lack of justice for Eric Garner.

Since his death being ruled a homicide a year ago no meaningful action has been taken.  The main officer involved with bringing Garner down after he was allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes, Daniel Pantaleo, has been assigned desk duty and the Staten Island grand jury opted not to indict.  The family has received a $5.9 million settlement from the city but it was made clear at the rally money is not at all where the focus lies.

Rev. Al Sharpton: “We come today to say we can’t depend on local law enforcement.  We want the federal government to bring justice for Eric Garner. “  The federal government has opened an investigation but has not yet come back with any findings.  Throughout the event it was made clear by multiple speakers that the movement will go on until Mr. Pantaleo, the officer who ended Eric Garner’s life, is held accountable.

Those in attendance were members of activist groups, unions, of various ethnicities, young and old.  The crowd cheered and chanted, holding strong in the heat until the rally was over.  Events were held throughout the week throughout the boroughs to commemorate Mr. Garner’s passing.

Anniversary Eric Garner


Photos and text by Lela Edgar

“We Will Not Go Back” — A March On Staten Island

I attended the National Action Network “We Will Not Go” march in Staten Island this weekend. Thousands of people of varying ages, races, and religions showed up in solidarity to support the family of Eric Garner, and march for overall awareness and change regarding NYPD violence. Although Michael Brown was not the focus of the march, many held signs supporting the community of Ferguson. There were human chains on the sides of the march and volunteer marshals to help keep the peace. And the peace was kept.

There were a lot of laughs and hugs amidst tears and chants unifying people who’d come from all over the country and who up until that event, had never met. There was a feeling in the air of cooperation, love, and optimism that by gathering and joining forces, change can come.

Click on the images below to see photos full screen

All photos by Lela Edgar