Eric Garner’s mom says video of George Floyd’s death is ‘recurring nightmare’by Joshua Rhett Miller
The harrowing viral video of an unarmed black man being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer is forcing Eric Garner’s mother to relive the searing pain of her son’s 2014 death all over again.
Gwen Carr, whose son Eric died at a hospital after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold as he yelled “I can’t breathe” while being arrested on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes on Staten Island, said the similar footage of George Floyd’s death late Monday in Minneapolis was jarring and difficult to process.
“It was déjà vu all over again,” Carr told NBC News. “It’s like a recurring nightmare.”
The four Minneapolis cops involved in Floyd’s arrest were responding to a report of a forgery in progress and Floyd, 46, matched the description of a suspect, police said. He then allegedly resisted arrest, prompting an officer to kneel on his neck while ignoring the man’s pleas to stop.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd said, video shows. “Please, man.”
The FBI and state law enforcement officials are now investigating Floyd’s death, which led to violent protests in Minneapolis late Tuesday as demonstrators damaged a precinct building, according to reports.
“I don’t see any justification,” Carr said of Floyd’s death. “To put your knee on someone’s neck, you are obstructing their breathing. That is completely a no-no.”
Kneeling on a suspect’s neck is allowed under the Minneapolis Police Department’s use-of-force policy for cops who have been trained. The method is considered a “non-deadly force option,” the department’s policy handbook states.
But Carr said she couldn’t understand why the officer seen atop Floyd’s neck wouldn’t relent as he begged for mercy.
“Why would you keep your knee there?” she continued. “After three minutes, you don’t realize that this man is saying that he can’t breathe? And he’s struggling, struggling for life?”
The four cops involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired Tuesday. A police union is asking the public “not to rush to judgment” in the case, which has prompted national outrage like Garner’s death.
A jury ultimately declined to indict Pantaleo, but he was fired by the NYPD in August, one month after US Attorney General Williams Barr opted against filing civil rights charges on grounds of insufficient evidence.
The disgraced ex-cop then sued Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the NYPD to get his job back in October, saying his firing was “arbitrary and capricious,” his attorney said.
Carr, meanwhile, said she hopes Floyd’s relatives see a different outcome.
“I hope this family doesn’t need to suffer like I suffered for six years,” she told NBC News.
With Post wires