Eric Garner's Mother Still Wants Answers About Son's Death After Inquiry

Eric Garner's Family Call For September 15 To Be Eric Garner Day

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The family of Eric Garner says they're frustrated after the judicial inquiry into Garner's death concluded Friday (November 5), according to The New York Times.

Reporters say the two-week process involved eight days of testimony from multiple witnesses from the New York Police Department (NYPD). Meant to address "lingering gaps in the public record regarding" the 2014 killing of Garner, relatives of the late Black man remain unsatisfied with the outcome.

Lawyers for the family were going to get the testimony of certain witnesses, including Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea and Mayor Bill de Blasio, but Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Erika M. Edwards repeatedly denied those requests. Prosecutors claim their testimony would've been crucial to gaining a more "complete" picture of the situation.

Gwen Carr, Garner's mother, was particularly upset about the inquiry, claiming a lack of transparency during the NYPD officials' testimony.

“We didn’t have what we thought we would get out of this. We need more,” Carr said Friday. “I had to sit through and listen to the bunch of lies that continues to go on.”

She had more to say in an interview with New York Daily News:

"I have to listen to this over and over again. I have to relive my son’s murder over and over again. And this is not easy. Sometimes when they’re testifying, I have to mute. What really angers me, they’re lying. They’re covering up for each other."

Some New York city officials reject Carr's assertions, however. An NYPD spokeswoman says the case has been investigated "thoroughly... on multiple levels." Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the New York City Law Department, claims that there's already much public information about Garner's death.

Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island resident, died on July 17, 2014, after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in an illegal chokehold. The father of six uttered "I can't breathe" several times while facedown on the sidewalk in a viral video of his arrest. Only two police officers were punished for the deadly confrontation.

Pantaleo was fired in 2019 and stripped of his pension. Sgt. Kizzy Adonis only lost 20 vacation days after police charged her for failing to properly supervise the arrest -- a disciplinary action that activists, lawyers, and even Judge Edwards questioned.

Adonis testified that she was on her way to a meeting when she was called there, only being at the scene "temporarily."

“I’m trying to figure out, and I think I’m not the only one: How is it that Sgt. Adonis is the only one who got reprimanded out of everybody there — and it wasn’t even her assignment at the moment?” Judge Edwards asked during Adonis' testimony.

Garner's death, alongside the tragedy of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, kicked off the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Massive BLM protests and demonstrations grew more furious with the recent killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black victims of police violence.

For more details about the inquiry, click here.

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