Thousands March to Protest Eric Garner Chokehold Death in New York

Thousands gathered to the scene of Eric Garner's death on Staten Island for a peaceful protest.

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Thousands of people marched through Staten Island Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner, who died July 17 after a New York Police Department officer brought Garner to the ground with a banned chokehold — an incident that was captured on a video that went viral.

Led by Rev. Al Sharpton and Garner's family members, a crowd of what police estimated to be more than 2,500 demonstrators gathered on Staten Island in what was dubbed the "We Will Not Go Back" march.

“Let’s just make this a peaceful march and get justice for my husband so this doesn’t happen to nobody else, nobody else’s son,” said Garner's wife, Esaw Garner.

Protesters carried signs that "Respect Human Rights" or "Jail Killer Cops." Other demonstrators chanted and held signs that said, "I can't breathe," Garner's last known words.

The New York City Medical Examiner's Office ruled Garner's death a homicide, but no charges have been filed against the officers involved.

“This is not going away,” Sharpton said earlier this week. “We cannot have a society where police are automatically excused. The definition of a police state is where the citizenry cannot question police and when they do they are penalized.”

That sentiment was echoed by many of the demonstrators who linked the Staten Island march to the ongoing demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.