Eric Garner Remembered 7 Years After His Death
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Saturday marks seven years since Eric Garner died after being restrained by police on Staten Island.
Garner's family went back to where it happened to celebrate his life and push for justice.
Emotions came flooding back as Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, joined dozens of others on Bay Street to remember a life cut short.
"Seven years ago today, my son was murdered," Carr said.
Garner was arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on July 17, 2014.
Four NYPD officers were seen on video restraining him as he repeatedly cried, "I can't breathe."
Garner died when Officer Daniel Pantaleo used an unauthorized chokehold on him. Pantaleo was later fired by the NYPD.
"I'm reliving that, but I'm coming to grips with it by fighting for him," Carr told CBS2's Nick Caloway.
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That continued fight against police brutality was magnified last year after the murder of George Floyd set off a national movement for racial equality and justice and police reform.
But Garner's family says they want all the officers involved to face justice.
"We're still talking about it. We're still going to court about it. We're still trying to get the officers to stand accountable, the ones who was responsible for my son's death that day," Carr said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has since signed a package of police reform bills, which outlawed chokeholds.
The mayor tweeted Saturday, "Eric Garner's death shook our city and called on all of us to stand up to injustice. Make no mistake: he should still be alive today. He should be at home with his family. But his legacy will make our city a stronger, safer and more just place for every New Yorker."
Jewel Miller brought her and Garner's young daughter, Legacy, to Saturday's memorial.
Miller said even after all these years, all she's seen is lip service.
"It's the same as seven years ago. No justice has been served at all. We've got a lot of streets named after us to kind of, you know, be quiet. But no justice has been served at all," she said.
The anniversary comes the same week an appeals court ruled that a judicial inquiry is warranted into the investigation of Garner's death.
"We want to see every email. We want to see every phone log," Rev. Al Sharpton said.
Sharpton held an anniversary service to honor Garner's life.
He said that judicial inquiry could provide some much needed transparency into the investigation.
"Part of the victory will be why did it take so long to see this policeman terminated when it should have been immediate? And what was the inside language, memos going back and forth? We can now get that," Sharpton said.
Advocates say they'll be back on Bay Street every year until there's justice for Garner and all the others who died, unarmed, at the hands of the police.
CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report.
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