Listen To Eric Garner's Stepfather, Benjamin Carr, Calm A Heartbroken Protester: "Let's Keep The Peace"
On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury declared that no charges would be brought against Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold that precipitated Eric Garner's death this summer. Those who immediately called for peaceful protest included New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Eric Garner's stepfather Benjamin Carr, caught on tape calming down a heartbroken protester Wednesday evening. You can listen here.
According to public radio station WNYC, Carr was visiting the site where his stepson died when a protester approached him, visibly heartbroken. In the WYNC audio tape, the choked-up man shouts, "I was right there! ... I was there, Mr Garner! ... I was doing everything peacefully, but it's got to the point ... Where are we headed for? What's the future for me? My child, my son! What is his future?"
Carr can be heard speaking quietly to the man, whom ABC reports was leaning out of a car window to speak to Carr. "Okay, all right," he says. "Let's keep the peace. We're all hurting."
"We're all hurting," he says again.
Standing at the place Garner died, reported CBS, Carr held yellow flowers and told reporters, "We don't want no violence. It's not going to help nothing." He described the justice system as "not worth a damn."
The protests that swarmed New York's Times Square, Grand Central Station, and near Rockefeller Center Wednesday night were largely peaceful, as Garner's family had requested. By Thursday morning, the NYPD had reported 83 arrests, according to Reuters, and more action was promised by civil rights groups, including a "2015 action plan" and new rounds of protests.
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