Tyre Nichols death: Eric Garner's mother asks 'When is it going to stop?'
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As Memphis officials released police video from the violent arrest of Tyre Nichols, the mother of Eric Garner was speaking in Pittsburgh at the closing of an exhibit at the August Wilson Cultural Center.
Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a New York City police officer in 2014. Nichols died days after what his family and authorities described as a brutal encounter that stemmed from a traffic stop.
A moment doesn't go by when Gwen Carr doesn't think about her son. This July will mark nine years since Garner's death when he cried, "I can't breathe" as a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold.
"You relive it over and over again. It never goes away," Carr told KDKA-TV in an exclusive interview Friday.
To this day, when another Black man dies at the hands of police, she avoids watching any of the videos.
"I don't have to watch them. I've seen the pictures. I've heard the story," Carr said.
This includes Nichols.
"When is it going to stop? Is it ever going to stop?" Carr said.
Video of Nichols' encounter with Memphis police earlier this month was released late Friday.
"For them to jump on an innocent man and just beat him to a pulp, what was the reason for that?" Carr said.
The violent arrest led to second-degree murder charges against five officers, who were fired over the incident. Carr said it's a step in the right direction, but only a step.
"It's not over. It's not a slam dunk. I know it from my case. I know it from George Floyd's case, it's not a cut-and-dry thing," Carr said.
She hopes Memphis officials do more.
"It's not the training, it's the agenda that some of these police officers are on," Carr said.
When Nichols' mother is ready to reach out, Carr said she will be there to listen.
"Try to be strong. I know looking at your son like that, it's just so heartbreaking, but I pray for you and all the other mothers are praying for you," Carr said.
Officials fired the officer in Garner's case five years after the incident. He never faced charges, but the family reached a settlement with New York.
On Saturday morning, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey released a statement.
"Tyre Nichols was a father, he was an artist, a skater, a young man who was loved and had a full life ahead of him. Today a mother no longer has a son and a child no longer has his father.
"My heart and my prayers go out to his family, friends, and the entire city of Memphis. Tyre should be alive today and his murder at the hands of law enforcement makes it clear that our work to change the culture of policing is critical for our city and our country.
"Black and brown people should never have to fear for their lives over a traffic stop. We must never stop our work to end this injustice.
"We respect and understand the need for protest and hope that the wishes of the family for them to be peaceful are respected as we honor the life of Tyre."
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