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The Eric Garner Murder: A Man’s Humanity Stripped By His ‘Protectors’

Last week Friday (July 18th), I watched, through pictures, a 43-year old father and grandfather go from being full of life, to being nearly lifeless (if not already lifeless). This man was Eric Garner. He died after an illegal attack by officers from the New York Police Department on Thursday, July 17th. There is a video that shows the execution. I did not watch it. Pictures were enough for me:(

Garner was surrounded (after coming out of a beauty products store) by five police officers whom, I would assume wanted to arrest him. However, they ended up killing him through a chokehold which is disallowed under the New York Police Department rules. 

image 

The picture above was shared by a Facebook user. It shows the stages of harassment on Garner that finally led to the fatal chokehold 

How could someone be stripped of his humanity like that? If police officers do not respect citizens’ rights, then there is trouble.

As I read reports on the execution, I looked at Eric Garner to be a human being like anyone else. He could have been me, he could have been a lawyer or a teacher, he could have been Caucasian or Asian or Hispanic. He could have been anyone. I did not think too much of the reasonable possibility that Garner was treated that way because he was black. I am black, myself. I still look at the story with shock and disappointment, and with a great degree of colour-blindness at the mistreatment of a human being who was not given a chance to defend himself in court. While, I will not point to skin colour as the most correct option for why those cops did what they did, I am not completely colour-blind to the justice system of America.

As a black person who is very much aware of how African-Americans are usually denied their right to justice, I am worried about what the outcome of the Eric Garner murder case will be. I very much hope for a positive outcome, though. There is still no justice for the murder of Emmett Till; I followed the Trayvon Martin case till I was disappointed at the court’s verdict. These are, of course, just very few examples. I am hoping for the Eric Garner case to change the status quo! 

Let us all show our support for the Late Eric Garner and his family. Keep using your social media networks to raise awareness on his murder. We may just start up a social media campaign that will force the authorities to act swiftly and justly, for Eric Garner.

Peace & #JusticeForEricGarner,

Chiamaka.

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