For Immediate Release: December 3, 2014
Dan Morris. 917.952.8920
Manny Vaz. 347.674.7935
#ThisStopsToday: After No Indictment in Garner Case, Outraged New Yorkers Demand Full Accountability for NYPD and Plan Massive Action in Foley Square
New York — New Yorkers across the city are outraged that there was no indictment of officers involved in the killing of Eric Garner, expressing the need for full accountability and systemic reforms. They plan to come together at Foley Square tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. to say:
There is growing national outrage over the systemic lack of accountability for the killing and discriminatory and abusive targeting of people of color by the police. Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Mike Brown, Akai Gurley, John Crawford, Tanisha Anderson, Tamir Rice, and many others whose lives were lost to police brutality and violence are not isolated incidents. We must connect the dots across these incidents of police brutality and violence to end abusive policing and ensure that all lives are protected equally.
In a unified voice, New Yorkers are communicating four key demands to ensure #ThisStopsToday:
1) Full accountability for all officers responsible for Eric’s death, and all officers who brutalize and abuse their power in our communities
2) An end to NYPD's discriminatory "broken windows" policing
3) A Department of Justice investigation into the use of force policies and practices of the NYPD and full investigation into the killing of Eric Garner
4) Governor Cuomo should veto Law S7801/A9853, so the police are not the only ones responsible for policing themselves
New Yorkers want systemic and substantive change at the NYPD to ensure people of color are not targeted by the police with aggressive, broken windows policing. More training for the police is not the real problem here, and it is not an adequate solution.
“No indictment sends a clear message that police are above the law. From Ferguson to Staten Island and across the country, we are facing a national crisis. For too long, double standards of justice and accountability have existed that allow law enforcement to act with impunity when brutalizing and killing unarmed people. New Yorkers, particularly communities of color who bear the brunt of discriminatory and abusive policing, are coming together to say #ThisStopsToday. NYC cannot continue to tolerate police brutality and misconduct,” said Priscilla Gonzalez of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR).
“The failure of DA Donovan to secure meaningful indictments of those responsible for Eric Garner’s death is one of many examples of a systemic lack of accountability for officers who kill and brutalize, which allows abusive policing to continue,”said Loyda Colon, Co-Director of the Justice Committee. “The cases of Ramarley Graham, Mike Brown, Iman Morales, Sean Bell, John Crawford, and Jayson Tirado are just a few of countless other examples. New Yorkers and people across the country are sick and tired and we are rising up. Tomorrow’s action is in no way the last you’ll see from us.”
"As I waited anxiously for the Eric Garner verdict, I reflected on my own interactions with the NYPD in my neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. As a young Black man who has been stopped and frisked over 100 times in the last six years, I realized that at any moment during my interactions, my life could have also been stripped away," said Keeshan Harley, youth leader at Make the Road New York. "The Grand Jury’s choice not to indict Officer Pantaleo who was responsible for Eric Garner's death, reaffirms for young men like me that our lives aren't valued."
"The disregard for black lives by our criminal justice system is absolutely abhorrent. We all saw the video, Eric Garner was killed in broad daylight for no justifiable reason. We are deeply saddened by the lack of justice for Eric and his family, but will not let this outrageous verdict deter our efforts to end police abuse once and for all,” said Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director, VOCAL-NY
“People everywhere have once again been let down by the judicial system as they failed to prosecute a police officer, whose excessive force led to the death of an unarmed man,” said Pete Haviland-Eduah, National Policy Director for the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. “This failure has given the ugly face of broken windows policing tactics and racial bias space to reveal itself once more for the world to see. With each breakdown in the system, we become more empowered as a community; with each case of marginalized black and brown bodies, we come together, as one to demand the respect, dignity and rights we deserve. We stand with the family of Eric Garner along with the Staten Island community as we remember a man whose life was cut too short by antiquated policing tactics and work through non-violent direct action to seek meaningful solutions to ensure this does not happen in our streets again.”
“The failure of the Staten Island Grand Jury to file an indictment in the killing of Eric Garner leaves New Yorkers with an inescapable question: How will the NYPD hold the officers involved accountable for his death? And what will Commissioner Bratton do to ensure that this is the last tragedy of its kind? Unless the Police Department aggressively deals with its culture of impunity and trains officers that they must simultaneously protect both safety and individual rights, officers will continue to believe that they can act without consequence,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman.
"We send our deepest condolences to the Garner family, who join thousands of families who in mourning the death of loved ones as a result of police violence and impunity,” said Marbre Stahly-Butts, from the Center for Popular Democracy. “Today's decision is emblematic of the bias and dysfunction within our criminal justice system. Police violence is endemic and its eradication requires a nationwide commitment by law enforcement to be held accountable, including meaningful protection and oversight in every aspect of policing from training to discipline.”
"Today's refusal by a NYC grand jury to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantalleo for choking Eric Garner to death highlights the inability of local officials to hold officers fully accountable for senseless violence perpetrated against Black and brown folks and underscores the need for our federal leaders in government to intervene. Officer Pantaleo was caught on camera choking Garner to death, but even when video is involved the wheels of justice don't seem to move when black people are hurt or killed by police. Our deepest condolences are with Garner's family and we are prepared to continue to organize alongside them and grow a nationwide movement against violent policing," said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. "More than 42,000 ColorOfChange members raised their voices and demanded justice for Eric Garner and an end to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s Broken Windows policing tactic. We will not sit silent as Black folks like Eric Garner are profiled, targeted, and killed by police and their killers are allowed get away with murder. We are calling on federal officials to do what Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan could not; bring Garner’s killer to justice, hold the department accountable for its discriminatory policies that put Black folks in danger and set a higher standard of policing nationwide."