“I just had to come out and let their family know that we stand with them, and I’m going to send my prayers and condolences to all the families who are suffering through this tragedy.”
New York, NY — Eric Garner was killed by NYPD officers on video. The video shows the officer placing Garner in a chokehold, while a group of other officers force Garner to the ground. Garner, who reportedly suffered from asthma, died after repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”
Despite the disgusting display from the NYPD over the last few weeks including the donning of shirts that say “I can breathe” which mock the last words of a man they killed, blaming Garner’s death on Garner, and the president of the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, referring to those protesting police brutality as “enemies,” there is still a glimmer of peace in New York City.
If this isn't an ugly version of white privilege I ain't sure what is pic.twitter.com/iAvqxc5voW
— Steven Thrasher (@thrasherxy) December 19, 2014
One of Eric Garner’s six children, Emerald Garner, showed a heartening level of compassion and peace yesterday when she showed up to offer the families of the two slain NYPD officers her condolences.
“I just had to come out and let their family know that we stand with them, and I’m going to send my prayers and condolences to all the families who are suffering through this tragedy,” she told ABC News. “I was never anti-police. Like I said before, I have family that’s in the NYPD that I’ve grown up around, family reunions and everything so my family you know, we’re not anti-police.”
Emerald Garner, provided an example of what it really means to be a compassionate person by choosing to show up yesterday. She also squashed the dangerous rhetoric coming from some, that tries to relate these murders to the peaceful protests against police brutality.
The killing of the two NYPD officers on Saturday, “was a mental health crisis,” Emerald Garner said. “It didn’t have anything to do with race or anything–it was a mental health crisis and he was dealing with [it] personally and didn’t have the proper way to express his anger.”
Garner’s decision to show her support to these families shows what it really means to want to incite peaceful change. Over the past couple of days we’ve even seen protesters show respect for this loss of life, and as a community they’ve grieved together, no matter the badge.
If we would see a similar notion from police, this healing process could begin and we could begin talking solutions, instead of pointing fingers or declaring New York a “war zone.”
Even the aunt of slain officer Rafael Ramos is asking for New Yorkers and police to come together “so that we can move forward and find an amicable path to a peaceful coexistence.”
Hopefully police lighten their antagonistic stance and proceed with a more diplomatic approach. And hopefully the next person on the verge of a killing spree realizes that violence only begets more violence.
The last thing we need is a further increase in animosity between police and the citizens.
Thank you Emerald Garner for walking in the footsteps of those who truly seek peace.