Gwen Carr is the mother of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after Officer Daniel Pantaleo used a banned chokehold on him.
The case, made famous by Garner’s plaintive cries of “I can’t breathe” with Pantaleo’s arm wrapped around his neck, tore at the NYPD for five long years while the United States dealt with a series of other cases of white officers killing unarmed African-American men.
Carr had a message for Pantaleo, saying: “Pantaleo, you, London [referring to Pantaleo attorney Stuart London], you can appeal all you want. But I’m still out here, I’m out here for the long run. You come out here against me, I’m out here. And you cannot scare me away.”
Surrounded by dozens of civil rights activists and religious leaders, Carr called on the New York City Police Department to fire the other officers involved in the incident, saying that “New York is not safe with officers out here like that.”
Commissioner James O’Neill, in announcing the firing, said he had been thinking about the case ever since he assumed the top job in 2016, weighing how Garner resisted arrest and, in his view, Pantaleo acted properly up until the moment he applied the chokehold after the two men fell to the ground.
In 2015, New York City paid a $5.9 million settlement to Garner’s family to avoid a civil lawsuit.