The protest was billed as #WeWillNotGoBack. Apparently neither Mayor Bill de Blasio nor Public Advocate Letitia James were expected to attend today’s events.
People gathered early, taking buses and ferries to Staten Island. The march began close to noon eastern at the site of Eric Garner’s murder by police. Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, suffered from asthma and was unarmed when he was stopped by police on July 17 in Staten Island for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
After resisting arrest, Garner was placed in a chokehold — an illegal tactic — by white NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo and can be heard, in a cellphone video, screaming “I can’t breathe!” several times as he was forced to the ground and handcuffed.
The confrontation led to his death a short time later. The city medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and NYPD officers Pantaleo and Justin Damico have been reassigned during the investigation.
District Attorney Daniel Donovan plans to present evidence to a grand jury next month.
NYPD Staten Island Borough Commander Edward Delatorre just addressed the media.
He called the march “terrific,” and said the event did not result in any arrests, injuries or incidents.
Innocent street vendor Amado Dialo died in a hail of 41 police bullets when he pulled out his wallet.
Good work, all of you! We need to remember that this is our nation, our land, and we need to take it back and stop police brutality and assassination now. Too many, too many…
‘As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?
Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.’
~ Woody Guthrie
(cross-posted at My.Firedoglake.com)