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.
49 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police
1. Jemel Roberson, 261 of 49
2. DeAndre Ballard, 232 of 49
3. Botham Shem Jean, 263 of 49
4. Antwon Rose Jr., 174 of 49
5. Robert Lawrence White, 415 of 49
6. Anthony Lamar Smith, 24Source:Getty 6 of 49
7. Ramarley Graham, 18Source:Getty 7 of 49
8. Manuel Loggins Jr., 31Source:Getty 8 of 49
9. Trayvon Martin, 17Source:Getty 9 of 49
10. Wendell Allen, 20Source:Getty 10 of 49
11. Kendrec McDade, 19Source:Getty 11 of 49
12. Larry Jackson Jr., 32Source:Getty 12 of 49
13. Jonathan Ferrell, 24Source:Getty 13 of 49
14. Jordan Baker, 26Source:Getty 14 of 49
15. Victor White lll, 22Source:Getty 15 of 49
16. Dontre Hamilton, 31Source:Getty 16 of 49
17. Eric Garner, 43Source:Getty 17 of 49
18. John Crawford lll, 22Source:Getty 18 of 49
19. Michael Brown, 18Source:Getty 19 of 49
20. Ezell Ford, 25Source:Getty 20 of 49
21. Dante Parker, 36Source:Getty 21 of 49
22. Kajieme Powell, 25Source:Getty 22 of 49
23. Laquan McDonald, 17Source:Getty 23 of 49
24. Akai Gurley, 28Source:Getty 24 of 49
25. Tamir Rice, 12Source:Getty 25 of 49
26. Rumain Brisbon, 34Source:Getty 26 of 49
27. Jerame Reid, 36Source:Getty 27 of 49
28. Charly Keunang, 43Source:Getty 28 of 49
29. Tony Robinson, 19Source:Getty 29 of 49
30. Walter Scott, 50Source:Getty 30 of 49
31. Freddie Gray, 25Source:Getty 31 of 49
32. Brendon Glenn, 29Source:Getty 32 of 49
33. Samuel DuBose, 43Source:Getty 33 of 49
34. Christian Taylor, 19Source:Getty 34 of 49
35. Jamar Clark, 24Source:Getty 35 of 49
36. Mario Woods, 26Source:Getty 36 of 49
37. Quintonio LeGrier, 19Source:Getty 37 of 49
38. Gregory Gunn, 58Source:Getty 38 of 49
39. Akiel Denkins, 24Source:Getty 39 of 49
40. Alton Sterling, 37Source:Getty 40 of 49
41. Philando Castile, 32Source:Getty 41 of 49
42. Terrence Sterling, 31Source:Getty 42 of 49
43. Terence Crutcher, 40Source:Getty 43 of 49
44. Keith Lamont Scott, 43Source:Getty 44 of 49
45. Alfred Olango, 38Source:Getty 45 of 49
46. Jordan Edwards, 15Source:Getty 46 of 49
47. Stephon Clark, 2247 of 49
48. Danny Ray Thomas, 3448 of 49
49. DeJuan Guillory, 2749 of 49
New York Mayor Makes Another Promise To Eric Garner’s Mother, But We Won’t Hold Our Breath was originally published on newsone.com