Below are remarks made yesterday by Ms. Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed last year by a New York City police officer. Ms. Carr spoke at an event called "Human Rights in the USA," which was co-organized by The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and the US Human Rights Network in advance of a coming United Nations review of the United States' human rights record.

Good morning everyone,

Giving honor to God, who is the head of my life, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Gwen Carr. I am the mother of Eric Garner, as you all know, the victim the police put in the chokehold and ultimately caused his death. We've all seen the video. It plays in my head over and over again. I guess I'll be looking at it for the rest of my life.

I have to live this every day of my life. It's a recurring nightmare. In fact, it's worse than a nightmare, because I never wake up. It has changed my life forever, the death of my son. It has changed my life forever. Normally, I'm a very low-key person that goes about my daily routine, minding my business, but the death of my son has really enhanced my awareness of the cruel and inhumane things that some police officers do to us, towards us as people of color and Latinos. We suffer the greatest impact of this injustice. At the hands of the police, they violate our civil rights, our human rights, and our equal rights. And there's no accountability for their misconduct.

My son, Eric, he was being held down on the ground with his head pressed against the pavement. The police was blatantly choking him to death. As he begged for his life, he said, "I can't breathe." Eleven times. Eleven times he said, "I can't breathe." But the uncaring officer chose to take my son's life. And, not only that, five other officers jumped on him that day, as he lay dying on the hot pavement. And remember, my son was unarmed, he hadn't committed any crime. He was breaking up a fight. But in all, I just say he was targeted. The police, they are supposed to protect, but instead they disconnect.

My son — but you know I'm not only here to speak about the injustice and the wrongdoing against my son. I'm here to speak about the injustice throughout the world. We all suffer some sort of injustice, in some sort of some form, but I think that the people who are supposed to enforce the law, they should also be made to abide by those same laws. And remember, we have a video — full coverage video — showing the police misconduct, two medical examiners' report that ruled my son's death a homicide, and yet the grand jury failed to indict. This means they didn't see probable cause. More injustice. What kind of world are we living in?

If there's a crime, there should be accountability, whether you wear blue jeans, a blue business suit, or a blue uniform. I would like to see more legislation that protects the people. Everyone has heard my son's name Eric Garner, but Eric Garner, he was also a person. He was my first born. He had a wonderful personality. He was a husband, a father, and a friend.

He was educated, loved his family, adored his mother, loved by all that knew him. He had a special connection with the Christmas season. He would go above and beyond to help someone if he thought they were his friend or just anyone on the street if he saw they needed help. And his death has left an enormous void in my life. And my heart has been ripped out. Literally. With this being said, I will walk, I will rally, and I will speak out until my voice is heard. I know all police aren't bad, but there are some very vicious officers out there. They give the rest a bad name. Proper training will work for those out there to do their job, but the only thing that is going to help with the officers that have their own agenda is their superiors standing up for what's right and holding those officers accountable. They know what's going on in their precinct. You know your officers.

And I'm here today because of police misconduct that caused the death of my loved one. There are so many others – mothers, wives, sisters, brothers, cousins who have all suffered also. And it's not fair. We all share this pain.

Bottom line: We need better policing and lawmakers who will be fair. Make a law that applies to everyone. We voted for them, and what do they give us in return? The goal is to get laws passed that will protect us, respect us against this ill treatment. It has got to stop. The abuse is in all races, but we as a people feel the greatest impact. We need executive order now.

You know I put a piece together. I said, what does brutality mean to me? And I just said, spell it out. So I just took the word brutality, and I put a meaning that came from within me. And it's like this:

B, bestowing hurt and harm on people totally dismissing them as a human being;
R, ruthless treatment. Racist and cruel insults;
U, uncivilized and vicious attack on already helpless individuals;
T, total disregard for one's human rights, civil rights, and equal rights;
A, aggressive and aggravated use of force unnecessarily;
L, life threatening and needless beatings which shows the depraved mentality;
I, inhuman, vulgar, and severe attacks that demoralize us as a people;
T, torture just for the thrill of seeing people squirm;
Y, your prime example of crazed individuals that supposed to protect and instead they disconnect.

And you know, this is happening all over. In New York, in Ferguson, in South Carolina, Indiana, Louisiana, you name it. Every day we see a new case coming up, and we have to make sure that these people stand accountable for their actions. We can't keep letting this go on because today it's me, tomorrow it may be you. And we don't want another head count.

So I say to you today ladies and gentlemen, thank you for having me and God bless you.

Watch remarks by Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner at 57:40 to 1:08:00:

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Sheryl Anonymous

My heart breaks for this mother. There are too many families mourning for their children, fathers, brothers, mothers & sisters. I agree with everything Mrs. Carr said. God bless you. #NOMORE


I am sure the mothers of the two brave policemen who were horribly murdered feel they shouldn't have died for a criminal who resisted arrest


I am also sure that the mothers of those who died under the police's racial profiling and needless brutality, feel that their sons, died uselessly for small infractions of the law; whereas, police officers, are aware that their lives are always at stake in the performance of their duties and know that theirs is a dangerous profession - that is, to serve and protect the populace, BUT not to kill suspected or falsely accused people of color. They have the tools of power that can be blatantly abused and lose their regard for human life, while the defenseless civilian has none. Policemen who die in the line of duty are called martyrs or heroes while the innocent civilian is the hapless victim.


So sorry for your loss. Your son is in a better place.
May God bless you and comfort you.


Is the ACLU going to make an actual allegation? Or just insinuate the police are guilty of something there. We ALL saw the video. What is the allegation???

We need #RegimeChange at the ACLU. The ACLU is on a wayward path aimlessly pointing the finger at nearly every police incident IF it happens to make the news. That's what the ACLU is doing.

If the government and/or the police wanted to create the illusion of dissent, but in reality keep an iron grip on the country, they would just create today's ACLU. The ACLU blatantly lies and is dishonest in the information it puts out. This is a disservice to the members.

Why? Why is it bad if today's ACLU is nothing more than "the boy who cried wolf". You're giving everyone an excuse to tune out! Why should Joe The Plumber give a damn about the ACLU's position on incident X when the ACLU spent the last month lying publicly about 5 other incidents, and consistently insinuates that the police are guilty in "major" incidents in which they DO NOT appear to be guilty at all!? Why do you think the ACLU isn't mainstream? Why do you think there are lot of people who care about civil liberties, but don't give a damn about the ACLU?

Or is the ACLU is preaching to the choir and trying to mobilize their anti-police/anarchy demographic? This isn't a mainstream movement. This isn't a serious organization. It's a joke. It needs #RegimeChange.

Curtis P

This unfortunate incident is becoming to familiar on a weekly basis and considered procedure when detaining or arresting citizens of color, I urge the A.C.L.U to harass the politicians and congress to enact legislation to protect citizens from overzealous law enforcement.!!!! Here's the blueprint 1.Body Cameras on all law enforcement, Police Officer's , Deputy Sheriff's, Marshall's, California Highway Patrol, Correction Officer's, Custody Asst. Officer's , Jail Mental Health & Jail Medical Staff. Cameras should not be turned off at all.!!!! Video Evidence shows the truth of an police interaction with citizens.
I further stress the urgency for the A.C.L.U. to do much more for its citizen's, expose the corruption in the system that you already know is there, The A.C.L.U. needs to do more in jails project also, Injustice shouldn't be swept under the rug for profits.!!!!!!!!!!

Curtis P California

We need more accountability & transparency within all law enforcement agencies. !!!!!! vote for better legislator's !!!!!! We have a systemic problem across the nation. The Police Commissioner's determine the policy for the police dept.'s along with Chief of police, Choke hold is illegal and police officer not held accountable.


It's sad, because even with video evidence of the cop choke holding Eric Garner couldn't get him to go to jail. Every one, no matter race, position of power, or whatever should be held accountable for their actions. If a choke hold is illegal for a cop to do in the first place, there should have been justice, and people seem to be missing that point.

Heart breaks every time we hear about another man getting attacked and/or murdered by someone who we all grew up thinking were supposed to protect us. Not all cops are bad, but we need to understand that justice today has not been served in any of these cases.


As time passes by l more and more feel ashamed of calling myself a U.S Citizen of this beautiful Nation., At one point l was very proud and feel with pride to know l was serving my Nation while in the military.,
It seems our police force is composed of bunch of ignorants uneducated corrupted and people who wore molested as a child., is why they have all this problems., This bad apples are making the good police look bad.,
Our Police Force is corrupting our entire nation. I just pray to my God J. to please never let any cop hurt none of my kids or l'll eat him/her very slowly alive.
It seems no body ( one ) cares or is putting a stop to their abuses and corruption., why ? Our system is failing to protect us., why. ? Our whole Government system is failing us completely and seems no longer care about its citizens, slowly but surely we are getting off balance to where government is abusing its people. Increasing taxes, foreclosing in our homes and throwing us on the streets and breaking our families by taking our kids away for not having an appropriate place ti live.,
We no longer need to watch for foreign enemies., slowly but surely our own system and their corrupted system "cops" are making us their enemy., Honestly do any of you feel safe when approached by police. ? I don't., The media is teaching our kids the sides of Police is bad and Police is bad., Never go to a police officer because is just bad for you. Our system is set in a self destroy path., Stop to think the maybe is the purpose of our new democracy.,? what else can we conclude., ?

the past, the p...

less then 5% of the total police force has been allegedly "bad cops" the police force in its self is good. and none of these cases are racially biased. If you served in the military then you should know that there are those that are bad in every force. in cases such as the fort hood shootings. the media only shows the very few bad cases. every day white people die at the hands of both police, people of there own ethnicity, and people of other ethnicities. and we dont riot because we realize its not about race. sure racial diversity provides seperation in this world, but in the long run it doesnt matter. equality for all. and that means that every one has the same chances. we give minorites free college in some states. that is not equality but providing them with unequal chances. our nation is one destined to fail. no democracy has ever worked beforein all of history. we will fail. its only a matter of when.


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