New York City

Garner family says settlement isn’t a victory

July 14, 2015 Associated Press Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Rev. Al Sharpton, second from right, is joined by Eric Garner's mother Gwen Carr, left, daughter Erica Garner, second from left, son Eric Garner, third from left, daughter Emerald Snipes, third from right, and wife Esaw Snipes.
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The relatives of an unarmed black man who was killed after being put in a white police officer’s chokehold say they don’t see a $5.9 million settlement with New York City as a victory.

Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said Tuesday that “the victory will come when we get justice.”

The family is pressing for federal civil rights charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo after a state grand jury declined to indict him. Federal authorities are investigating.

One of Garner’s children, Emerald Snipes, says, “Justice is when somebody is held accountable for what they do.”

The settlement was announced Monday, almost a year after the 43-year-old Garner’s death.

Garner was heard gasping “I can’t breathe!” 11 times on a bystander’s video of the encounter.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said that the events leading to Garner’s death have had an “extraordinary impact” on New York City and the nation.

“It forced us to examine the state of race relations, and the relationship between our police force and the people they serve,” Stringer said. “While we cannot discuss the details of this settlement, and the city has not admitted liability, I believe that we have reached an agreement that acknowledges the tragic nature of Mr. Garner’s death while balancing my office’s fiscal responsibility to the city.”

 The Rev. Al Sharpton says the settlement recognizes the relatives’ loss, but he says “money is not justice.”

Sharpton spoke Tuesday, a day after the settlement was announced.

Sharpton says the financial settlement “does not deal with the criminal and other wrongs done to this family and other families.”

Garner’s death and police killings of other unarmed black men fueled widespread protests. Sharpton says Garner’s videotaped gasps of “I can’t breathe!” helped spur a national movement that won’t end “until we change how policing goes.”


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