NEW YORK CITY — The mother of Eric Garner is calling for criminal charges in the Minnesota police custody death of George Floyd — a case that bears a striking resemblance to her own son’s death on Staten Island in 2014.
“It was just like me reliving my son’s murder all over again,” Gwen Carr told PIX11’s Dan Mannarino Wednesday morning. “It’s just so horrifying how these police officers come into our neighborhoods and terrorize and brutalize.”
Bystander video of Floyd’s arrest in Minneapolis on Monday showed the man pleading for his life, saying he could not breathe, as a white officer knelt on his neck and kept his knee there for several minutes after the man stopped moving.
Six years ago, Garner’s police chokehold death sparked national outrage. His last words, recorded on bystander video, were “I can’t breathe.”
“Tears are in my eyes because it’s like it’s happening to me again and again,” Carr said on the PIX11 Morning News. “Why does this keep on happening over and over again?”
Four police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were swiftly fired Tuesday, but police brutality protesters are calling for criminal charges in the case.
Thousands of people took to the streets Tuesday, prompting a police response that included riot gear, tear gas and projectiles.
Carr joined the protesters in spirit Wednesday morning, demanding the officers be criminally prosecuted.
“I’m so glad that those officers were fired, but that’s not enough,” she said. “We need criminal charges because that was outright murder, what they did to that young man.”
Floyd’s death is under investigation by the FBI and state law enforcement authorities.
None of the officers involved in Garner’s death were ever criminally prosecuted.
NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who took Garner down to the ground in a chokehold, was fired following a departmental trial held five years after his death.
Carr said she feels for Floyd’s family who will have to live with his death the rest of their lives.
“I hope the FBI investigators treat their case better than they treated mine,” she said. “I’m so glad that this family will not have to fight for that long just to get the officers fired, but now they need to be prosecuted because that was outright murder.”
“This family has suffered enough. Looking at that video makes them suffer enough …that young man should be alive today.”
This story comprises reporting from the Associated Press