Within hours of the Eric Garner verdict’s announcement, thousands of angry New Yorkers took to the streets and shut down major thoroughfares to protest the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who choked Garner to death.
Coverage of the protests is being offered by several news outlets and citizen journalists, giving a glimpse into the Eric Garner protests as they teeter near the edge of riots. Mediaite has linked to several NYC news outlets offering live coverage, including both Yahoo! News and the New York Times.
Garner died July 17 after a confrontation with five New York Police Department officers. The 43-year-old Staten Island man and father of five had broken up a fight that police were responding to when officers questioned him for selling “loosies,” or untaxed single cigarettes. Garner resisted and one of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, placed Garner in a headlock.
During the struggle Garner shouted “I can’t breathe” five times before collapsing to the pavement. He later died of heart failure.
On Wednesday, a grand jury released its decision that Pantaleo would not face charges for the killing, sparking immediate protests across the city. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Grand Central Station, clogging the station while they chanted, “I can’t breathe,” and “Shut it down, shut it down, Eric Garner, Michael Brown.”
Police and protesters also clashed across Manhattan, and eventually police with riot gear were called in to several locations.
There are now riot police on scene at 12th Ave and 49th St in NYC. Crowd of Eric Garner protesters is not moving. pic.twitter.com/lETcQSALog
— Mac William Bishop (@MacWBishop) December 4, 2014
— Ashley (@ashdollarsign) December 4, 2014
Several of the protesters noted that tension was rising between police and demonstrators, with some areas nearing riots. But there have been only sporadic reports of property damage during protests to the Eric Garner verdict.
Those who want to watch coverage of the Eric Garner verdict protests live online can also click here for an on-the-ground view.