Pushing for Justice: Mothers of Fallen Victims Speak Out

The first three days of the NYPD’s judicial inquiry into the death of Eric Garner will see family members, including his mother Gwen Carr, speak out on both what happened to him and how they are coping. The police officer who put Garner in a chokehold has been suspended without pay pending results of an investigation that is expected to take at least six months.

Monday morning, family members and supporters will be outside of NYPD headquarters in Lower Manhattan to call for the officer who killed Garner, Daniel Pantaleo, to be charged with a crime. Monday’s press conference comes just one day after a group of activists not related to the Garner family laid flowers at the site where he died on Staten Island.

Tuesday evening, Gwen Carr will be accompanied by the Reverend Al Sharpton for a speaking event at Mount Sinai United Christian Church in Harlem.

Wednesday morning Garner’s mother along with other women who have lost sons to police violence will visit Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in Albany to ask him to appoint an independent prosecutor for cases involving police use of force.

Thursday Gwen Carr will be at the National Action Network in Harlem to testify at a separate inquest being held by Sharpton and Garner’s family into NYPD tactics.

The Staten Island district attorney who is conducting the criminal investigation into the death of Eric Garner has asked for patience from all involved.

And while the NYPD has promised a full investigation into their use of chokeholds, a policy banned by the department for more than 20 years, there is no word on when they will announce any results.

In an Op-Ed for CNN, Gwen Carr wrote that she was hoping to do justice for my son Eric by testifying at the hearings, which she hoped would lead to criminal charges against Daniel Pantaleo.

The fact that these hearings are being held is an encouraging sign. The NYPD has promised a full investigation into their use of chokeholds, a policy banned by the department for more than 20 years.

However, it is still unclear when the department will announce any results of their investigation.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s organization, National Action Network, has scheduled a number of events to highlight the lack of justice for Eric Garner and his family.

A group of nine civil rights organizations have written a letter to the Department of Justice demanding they conduct an outside investigation into Garner’s death. The organizations wrote in their letter that, recent history has shown us that local prosecutors fail to indict police officers for killing unarmed African Americans and we fear that nothing will be different this time.