Metro, Boston

Photos: Thousands Gather In Boston Common To Protest Eric Garner Decision

In the background of the city’s tree lighting ceremony, a mass of demonstrators started chanting—Christmas carols mixed with “Hands up, Don’t shoot.”

Approximately 3,000 protestors gathered in the Boston Common Thursday evening—according to estimates from the Boston Police Department—in the midst of the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony, protesting the grand jury decision not to indict the New York City police officer involved in the alleged homicide of 42-year-old Eric Garner.

Guard rails and a strong police presence separated protestors from the stage of the event, as chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” “We can’t breathe,” and “This is what democracy looks like,” echoed in the background during an a cappella performance of “Jingle Bells” on stage.

More than 7,000 people said they were attending the Facebook event, titled “#EnoughIsEnough: We Are the Ones, Justice for Eric Garner.”

“I saw the event was spreading like crazy across Facebook and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Liann Ammar, a junior at Northeastern University.

At approximately 8 p.m. protestors broke off from the ceremony and marched toward the Massachusetts State House, flooding the streets as hundreds of police officers lined up in front of the building to encourage peaceful protesting. The crowd then filled the area outside of Government Center before heading marching across the Charlestown Bridge, closing off all traffic.

Read the full story here.

Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor

Bennet Johnson was the Metro Editor for The Heights in 2015 and Business Manager in 2016. You can probably still find him wandering around Boston, wearing his 'Minnesota Nice' T-shirt. Follow him on Twitter @bennet_15.

December 4, 2014

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Photos: Thousands Gather In Boston Common To Protest Eric Garner Decision”

  1. ources in the mainstream media expressed outrage after a grand jury declined to indict a New York City policeman in the death of Eric Garner, but there are 11 significant facts that many of them have chosen to overlook:

    1. There is no doubt that Garner was resisting an arrest for illegally selling untaxed cigarettes. Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik put it succinctly: “You cannot resist arrest. If Eric Garner did not resist arrest, the outcome of this case would have been very different,” he told Newsmax. “He wouldn’t be dead today.

    “Regardless of what the arrest was for, the officers don’t have the ability to say, ‘Well, this is a minor arrest, so we’re just going to ignore you.’”

    2. The video of the July 17 incident clearly shows Garner, an African-American, swatting away the arms of a white officer seeking to take him into custody, telling him: “Don’t touch me!”

    3. Garner, 43, had history of more than 30 arrests dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny.

    4. At the time of his death, Garner was out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession and false impersonation.

    5. The chokehold that Patrolman Daniel Pantaleo put on Garner was reported to have contributed to his death. But Garner, who was 6-foot-3 and weighed 350 pounds, suffered from a number of health problems, including heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea. Pantaleo’s attorney and police union officials argued that Garner’s poor health was the main cause of his death.

    6. Garner did not die at the scene of the confrontation. He suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance taking him to the hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later.

    7. Much has been made of the fact that the use of chokeholds by police is prohibited in New York City. But officers reportedly still use them. Between 2009 and mid-2014, the Civilian Complaint Review Board received 1,128 chokehold allegations.

    Patrick Lynch, president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said: “It was clear that the officer’s intention was to do nothing more than take Mr. Garner into custody as instructed, and that he used the takedown technique that he learned in the academy when Mr. Garner refused.”

    8. The grand jury began hearing the case on Sept. 29 and did not reach a decision until Wednesday, so there is much testimony that was presented that has not been made public.

    9. The 23-member grand jury included nine non-white jurors.

    10. In order to find Officer Pantaleo criminally negligent, the grand jury would have had to determine that he knew there was a “substantial risk” that Garner would have died due to the takedown.

    11. Less than a month after Garner’s death, Ramsey Orta, who shot the much-viewed videotape of the encounter, was indicted on weapons charges. Police alleged that Orta had slipped a .25-caliber handgun into a teenage accomplice’s waistband outside a New York hotel.

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