Al Sharpton organized a peaceful protest in Staten Island on the afternoon of July 19, and condemned the police's use of the chokehold on Garner, saying that "there is no justification" for it.[44]

On July 29, a protest was held in Times Square, organized by WalkRunFly Productions and poet Daniel J. Watts. The protest was in the form of poetry and many Broadwayentertainers participated in the event.[45] Al Sharpton originally planned to lead a protest on August 23, in which participants would drive over the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, then travel to the site of the altercation and the office of District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.[46] This idea was scrapped in favor of Sharpton leading a peaceful march along Bay Street in Staten Island, where Garner died; police estimated that over 2,500 people participated in the march.[47][48]

After the Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo on December 3, people in New York City and San Francisco gathered in protest, demonstrating with several die-ins.[49]

On December 5, thousands gathered in peaceful protest on the Boston Common in Boston.[50] The protest began at Boston's annual tree lighting ceremony. Protesters then marched around the downtown area, blocking traffic and staging "die-ins". One group blocked traffic on I-90 for a short period of time, but was quickly disbanded by the police.


De Blasio, at a July 31 roundtable meeting in response to the death, convened with police officers and political activists, called upon mutual respect and understanding. On August 1, in a statement, the mayor urged all parties involved to create a dialogue, and find a path "to heal the wounds from decades of mistrust and create a culture where the police department and the communities they protect respect each other".[53][54]


As a result of Eric Garner's death, Police Commissioner William Bratton ordered an extensive review of the NYPD's training procedures, specifically focusing on the appropriate amount of force that can be used while detaining a suspect.[55]

NYPD Union leader Patrick Lynch challenged the claim that a chokehold was used.[56]


A funeral was held for Garner on July 23, 2014, at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn. At the funeral, Al Sharpton gave a speech calling for harsher punitive measures to be taken against the officers responsible for putting Garner in the chokehold.[57]

Al Sharpton and Eric Garner's wife, Esaw Garner (right), at a protest in Staten Island on July 19, 2014.

See also


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