The US Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner. Garner was a African American man who was choked to death by a white law enforcement officer in New York. Garner was said to be illegally selling untaxed cigarettes.
Multiple recordings of the incident went viral showing the officer choking Garner. As Garner lay on the ground he gasped for air repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced his decision of a civil rights investigation after a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer.
That decision outraged the citizens in New York and across the country. Activists called for peaceful marches which have taken place in Washington, D.C., New York, California and several other locations throughout the nation.
According to Hip- Hop and Politics website, “29 black people have been killed by Police/Security since January 2012. 16 since Trayvon.” For that reason many have taken to the streets in protest.. In Ferguson, Missouri, unarmed Michael Brown was gunned down in the street by a white Police Officer who will not be indicted in the case. As a result, violent riots and protest broke out and some business were burned down.
Here, in Savannah, protest and marches have also taken place due to Charles Smith, who was gunned down while still in handcuffs by a white police officer. This case is still under investigation. Savannah residents engaged in protest after the death of Charles Smith. Recently, a non-violent protest “Black Lives Matter” began at Hill Hall on Savannah State University campus and proceeded to Daffin Park. Students and local citizens participated. Further marches and protest are expected until justice is served.