HARLEM, Manhattan — Less than 24 hours after striking a deal with the City of New York, the family of Eric Garner along with the Reverend Al Sharpton met with the media at the National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, "Money is not justice. Money is a recognition of the loss of the family," said Sharpton.
Gwen Carr, Garner's mother, shared with the media her thoughts on the $5.9 million-dollar settlement, "This settlement that we get, people walking up and down the street they are saying 'congratulations.' Don't congratulate us, this is not a victory. The victory will come when we get justice, then we want to have a victory party."
The justice the Garner family along with others are seeking, are federal charges being brought against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. He is the officer who Garner died in the hands of on July 17th of last year and who less than five months later was cleared by a Staten Island grand jury, "Eleven times he said he couldn't breathe and they chose not to indict. Where is the justice?," said Carr.
In order to ramp up their call for criminal charges being levied against Pantaleo, a rally is being planned for Saturday at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn, home of the Federal courthouse in U.S. Eastern District. Sharpton says its all for a change they are demanding, "There needs to be structural change and they need federal intervention where local counties will not protect their citizens based on local politics."
Esaw Garner spoke passionately and candidly about how her husband died on a Staten Island sidewalk, "They treated my husband like an animal and I think they give animals more respect than they give humans."
However, it was afterwards that she shared with PIX11 News what the loss of her husband and its aftermath has taught her, "In the past year I've learned that my expression of my pain and my loss is what is going to get me through the day. It keeps me strong. It keeps my kids strong."
But Garner also conveyed that there are moments where the strength that has fueled her, just isn't there,"Sometimes I feel like I just want to curl up and join him and I know that I can't. I have my children and grandchildren to live for, but I felt like, when he stopped breathing, I stopped breathing."
Friday will be an emotional day, adding that she doesn't want to mourn the rest of her life.