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Eric Garner remembered on 7th anniversary of his death

July 17, 2021 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) — Family and community members gathered in New York City on Saturday to remember Eric Garner on the seventh anniversary of his death in a police chokehold.

Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, gathered with others in Staten Island just a few hundred feet from where her son lost his life, the Staten Island Advance reported. She said it was important to continue to honor her son’s legacy and never forget what happened.

“Every year since, we have commemorated and honored the memory of my son, and we will continue to do so,” Carr said. ”(With) some people, it would have been swept under the rug and they would have forgotten who Eric Garner was. But because of the movement, because of the people, because of my family, he’s not ever going to be forgotten.”

Bystander video showed officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, wrapping his arm around the neck of Garner, who was Black, as they struggled on a sidewalk on July 17, 2014. Officers were trying to arrest Garner for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

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Garner’s dying gasps of “I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry among police reform activists.

Pantaleo was fired after a disciplinary trial. No other police personnel involved in Garner’s death lost their jobs, and none was criminally charged.

Saturday’s remembrance was held at the “Healing Arch,” a public art installation honoring Garner.

Bishop Victor Brown, senior pastor of the Mt. Sinai United Christian Church, said during the remembrance that it was important to hold police accountable for their actions.

On Thursday, a New York appeals court ruled that a judicial inquiry is warranted into the investigation of Garner’s death, denying the city’s push to cancel the proceeding.