NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The mother of a New York man who was placed in a chokehold while in police custody says her first words on hearing his death had been ruled a homicide were “Thank you, Jesus.”
Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said Saturday she was grateful for the medical examiner’s report saying Garner’s death was caused by a banned police maneuver.
“When I heard the coroner’s report, I tell you. I was downtown Brooklyn and I was in a store, and when I got the telephone call I guess people thought I was crazy. I just start saying ‘Thank you Jesus,'” Carr said.
Carr and other relatives joined the Rev. Al Sharpton in Harlem.
“That in and of it self is probable cause for an arrest,” Sharpton said Saturday, talking about the medical examiner’s ruling on Garner’s cause of death.
Sharpton announced an Aug. 23 march across the Verrazano Bridge between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island to demand justice for Garner as well as to call for police reform.
Garner died July 17 on Staten Island.
Sharpton says the Staten Island district attorney should now move toward an arrest.
New Yorkers enraged by Garner’s death in police custody see the medical examiner’s ruling that blames a prohibited chokehold as a clear indication the officers involved should face criminal charges.
“They killed somebody,” neighbor Charlene Thomas said after the city’s medical examiner deemed Eric Garner’s death a homicide. “Why? Because they’re cops, they gotta get away with this?”