NEW YORK — With passion and conviction, Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, was speaking from experience at a rally Tuesday.
“We want a federal law that will go around the country, that anytime anyone uses a chokehold they are immediately locked up and charged.”
Her son died after being put in an illegal chokehold by police. The call now is to make the chokehold maneuver illegal nationwide. Lawmakers and community leaders are also demanding more accountability for officers amid protesting and violence.
“These bills can be the real focus of where this nation can go," said the Rev. Al Sharpton. "This will be the example of New York, will be the example nationwide."
Garner’s last words, "I can't breathe," became an outcry for change, George Floyd said the same thing in his final moments.
Whether by arm or by knee, these new laws would also put in place tougher penalties for any officer who restricts someone’s breathing.
The chokehold was banned by the NYPD after the death of Anthony Baez in 1994 but 20 years later, Garner became the poster child that the system failed. Now Floyd is the last straw for the community.
“We don’t need officers to take a knee with us, we need them to keep their knees off our necks," said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.