NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — Family and friends of Eric Garner marked the seventh anniversary of his death in New York City on Saturday.
A motorcade organized by the National Action Network began in Harlem around 11 a.m. The event was expected to end with a wreath-laying memorial in Staten Island.
Garner died on July 17, 2014, after then-NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a chokehold during an arrest outside a Staten Island convenience store.
Officers were attempting to arrest the 43-year-old father of six for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Garner refused to be handcuffed, and officers took him down. Garner was heard on bystander video crying out “I can’t breathe” at least 11 times before he fell unconscious.
He later died.
“I can’t breathe” became a rallying cry for police reform activists, coming amid a stretch of other deaths of Black men at the hands of white officers. Garner was Black; Pantaleo is white. Protests erupted around the country, and police reform became a national discussion.
Pantaleo and his police union maintained he did not use a chokehold, which is banned by the NYPD, during the arrest.