New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio assured Eric Garner’s mother on Wednesday that her son “did not die in vain,” promising that Garner’s 2014 death at the hands of a police officer in Staten Island prompted training to end racially biased policing. However, four years after the police killed Garner, implementation of the training has been slow and bias has continued.
De Blasio made the vow in response to Gwen Carr’s question at a town hall meeting on Staten Island about whether the city would finally hold the officers involved in her son’s death accountable after all these years, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday night.
“I do not want to play anymore political procrastination,” Carr stated. “It’s been four years since my son’s murder and it’s been very hard on me and my family, but it seems like the administration is blocking the accountability for the, you know, for the justice for my son and this just makes the four years worse for me.”
The New York Police Department (NYPD) only just this month began disciplinary proceedings against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Garner by using an illegal chokehold as the unarmed man cried “I can’t breathe.” A grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo, and de Blasio wanted to wait until after the federal government made a decision on whether to pursue civil rights charges against the officer. That decision never came, and four years later the mayor finally acted.
“A lot of change has happened, and a lot of people’s lives will be the better for it,” the mayor told Carr on Wednesday.
The reality is much different.
A disturbing six-minute video began circulating on social media July 17 that purported to show NYPD officers dragging an unconscious suspect from a house and then dropping him on the street next to a police cruiser, as people in the crowd urge them to call an ambulance.
Many folks in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, were still outraged that officers didn’t try to de-escalate a fateful encounter in April with Saheed Vassell, a mentally ill man, before gunning him down as he waved an object that looked like a gun.
At the same time, the city was offerering a weak response to evidence that officers were still targeting Black and Latino men for marijuana possession arrests. By one estimate, people of color in New York accounted for up to 90 percent of marijuana arrests in neighborhoods where they represented just 10 percent of the population.
46 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Antwon Rose Jr., 171 of 46
2. Robert Lawrence White, 412 of 46
3. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 3 of 46
4. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 4 of 46
5. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 5 of 46
6. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 6 of 46
7. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 7 of 46
8. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 8 of 46
9. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 9 of 46
10. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 10 of 46
11. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 11 of 46
12. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 12 of 46
13. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 13 of 46
14. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 14 of 46
15. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 15 of 46
16. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 16 of 46
17. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 17 of 46
18. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 18 of 46
19. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 19 of 46
20. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 20 of 46
21. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 21 of 46
22. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 22 of 46
23. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 23 of 46
24. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 24 of 46
25. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 25 of 46
26. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 26 of 46
27. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 27 of 46
28. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 28 of 46
29. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 29 of 46
30. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 30 of 46
31. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 31 of 46
32. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 32 of 46
33. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 33 of 46
34. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 34 of 46
35. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 35 of 46
36. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 36 of 46
37. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 37 of 46
38. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 38 of 46
39. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 39 of 46
40. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 40 of 46
41. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 41 of 46
42. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 42 of 46
43. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 43 of 46
44. Stephon Clark, 2244 of 46
45. Danny Ray Thomas, 3445 of 46
46. DeJuan Guillory, 2746 of 46
New York Mayor Makes Another Promise To Eric Garner’s Mother, But We Won’t Hold Our Breath was originally published on newsone.com