Daughter of man who died after NYPD chokehold speaks in Oakland
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The daughter of a New York man who died following a New York Police Department chokehold was in Oakland Thursday night reflecting on the recent shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina.
Erica Garner says she knows what Scott's family is going through first hand. "My initial reaction towards it was deja vu, like it was happening all over again," said Garner.
Eric Garner died in Staten Island in July of 2014. Officers used a chokehold to subdue him, and the incident was captured on video.
In the video Garner repeatedly says he can't breathe. A Grand Jury declined to charge the officers involved.
Erica Garner says despite the quick arrest of former officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina and the charge of murder, she still has misgivings about the criminal justice system. "I've been getting a lot of questions about 'do you see a difference?' or 'do you see a change coming, do you have faith in the system now?' And my answer is ‘no,'" said Garner.
On Thursday the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division released dash camera video from the deadly encounter between Slager and Scott.
In it, Slager pulls over Scott because of a broken tail light. In the newly released video the two men talk briefly, and when Slager returns to his patrol car to check Scott's license, Scott gets out of his car. Slager orders Scott to get back into the car, then gets out again and runs out of frame. The video does not show the shots which were fired just moments later.
Cat Brooks from Onyx Organizing Committee said the proliferation of video cameras and camera phones has helped empower people who witness police abuses.
"Video is, both in terms of the practical utilization of it in police abuse case, but also in the validation, 'I can't be called a liar anymore because this is on my phone and you have to admit that I'm right,'" said Brooks.
Brooks also said authorities in South Carolina may have had an eye on recent events in New York, and in Missouri in deciding to arrest and charge Slager with murder quickly. "Listen, they don't want a Ferguson on their hands. The last thing any city official wants is for there to be uprisings and rebellions in the street."