You may have missed much of the drama surrounding the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner. It's completely understandable. Our nation has spent the last couple months engrossed in the unrest in Ferguson following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown by a police officer. Eric Garner's death, also by an officer, is another unsettling issue worthy of your attention, though. And, if you hadn't heard much of him last week, you certainly will now. A grand jury decided that the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, will not be indicted for killing Garner.
By now, most of the nation has seen the video of Garner's arrest. Tired of police constantly coming by and accusing him of selling cigarettes, Garner mouthed back to officers this time. When they tried to arrest him and he struggled, Officer Pantaleo proceeded to put Garner in a choke hold and held him there as Garner continued to say that he couldn't breathe. Following the announcement that Pantaleo would not face charges, well-loved young adult author John Green took to Twitter, posting the transcript of Garner's final words.
Eric Garner's last words. pic.twitter.com/5lbqIEm63t— John Green (@johngreen) December 4, 2014
But Green was only the beginning. Sorrow and outrage once again poured out on social media (and the streets of New York) as young and old members of every ethnicity asked why, once again, no version of justice would be served.
#ICantBreathe with the amount of people being told they don't matter.— Stars (@MyStarsNGarters) December 4, 2014
I guess a video of a cop choking a man to death , isn't enough evidence to prove a cop choked a man to death #ICantBreathe— two necklace (@effmyusername) December 4, 2014
ATTENTION: I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT WHILE PROTESTERS DID BREAK A VAN WINDOW, THEY DID NOT CHOKE ANYONE TO DEATH. #ICantBreathe— Mercedes H (@the_N0) December 4, 2014
As one Twitter user pointed out, though, there was one major difference between what followed in Ferguson and what followed in New York: a lack of violence.
Shout outs to the people of New York Protesting #ICantBreathe That's how you do a protest, not stealing from other people. Good job!— One Canine (@OneCanine) December 4, 2014
Hours later, Garner's last words, "I can't breathe" are still a trending hashtag.#ICantBreathe Tweets
As tension rises and anger brews, what lies ahead for America? Is a new, possibly more violent civil rights movement on its way? Tell us what changes you want to see in the comments below.
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