NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A House committee took up the topic of police brutality, and it heard from the mother of Eric Garner.
“He said, ‘I love you mom.’ I said, ‘I love you, too, Eric,’ never knowing it would be our last and final conversation,” Gwen Carr said.
Carr was speaking about the last time she spoke to Garner. He died after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo during an attempted arrest for selling loose cigarettes in 2014.
“Most people can’t even comprehend how difficult it is to suddenly lose a child and to fight for five years just get an ounce of accountability,” Carr said.
Pantaleo was recently fired from the NYPD, but Carr said more should have been done.
On Thursday, she appeared before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating ways to combat excessive force by police, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
Former pro tennis player James Blake testified on an attack on him caught on tape in 2015, when a plainclothes officer tackled and cuffed him on the sidewalk in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan in a case of mistaken identity.
“I was attacked in broad daylight without even raising a hand or making any move to run,” Blake said. “Had there been no video, it would have been my word against the police. I think we all know how that goes, no matter how credible the victim is. But because there was the video, and it totally backed my account of the incident, there was a public apology and meeting with the mayor and police chief.”
At one point, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida raised questions of racial allegations made in the past about The Rev. Al Sharpton, who was also a panelist in Thursday.
“Have you ever referred to members of the Jewish faith as white interlopers or diamond merchants?” Gaetz asked.
“No sir. I referred to one in Harlem, an individual, that I didn’t even know was Jewish,” Sharpton said.
But when he tried to finish his answer, he was cut off, leading to a testify exchange between the activist and the lawmaker.
Blake said he feels Congress must require states collect data on all police and community encounters. He said legislation must be passed on law enforcement stops, searches and other interactions.