The funeral for Eric Garner took place on Wednesday, July 23 at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, drawing police, the Reverend Al Sharpton and throngs of people to protest the way he died — in addition to Garner’s family and friends. Photos by Caleb Ferguson for the Village Voice.
On Thursday, July 17, Garner, 43, of Staten Island, died while being arrested after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold. Garner, a father of six, was reportedly asthmatic. A disturbing video of the incident posted on Live Leak shows that Garner repeatedly said “I can’t breathe!”, sounding close to tears, as the police held him to the ground. The Staten Island Advance reports that Garner, who stood over 6 feet and weighed more than 350 pounds, was a fixture in the neighborhood who sometimes sold loose cigarettes for 50 cents apiece. Witnesses have said that Garner was trying to break up a fight in front of a beauty supply store.