People Across the Nation Protest Eric Garner Ruling

Last night in cities across the nation, thousands of demonstrators took to local streets, protesting a New York grand jury’s decision not to prosecute the officer who placed unarmed, black Staten Island resident Eric Garner in a chockehold before he died. In a video of the encounter Garner repeatedly pleaded with several officers making the arrest, telling them “I can’t breathe.” Garner was suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes.

In cities including New York—which saw large demonstrations for the second straight night—the crowds were mostly peaceful, though numerous arrests were made. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said that in response to the Eric Garner case, the entire New York City police force will be given new training focused on “changing how our officers talk with residents of the city, changing how they listen, slowing down some interactions that sometimes escalated too quickly.” The death of Eric Garner—and the lack of a grand jury indictment against the police officers involved—has sparked outrage around the country and comes on the heels of several other cases involving unarmed black males being killed by white police officers …

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