4 Ways You Can Help Eric Garner's Family Right Now
The family of Eric Garner is still reeling from the news that police officer Daniel Pantaleo won't be facing criminal charges for placing Garner in a chokehold that resulted in his untimely death. Garner was not only a father of six, but also a grandfather, and his death now leaves Eric's widow, Esaw Garner, with little support for her family. "My husband is six feet under, and I'm looking for a way to feed my kids now," she said during a Wednesday night press conference in Harlem.
As thousands took to the streets of New York on Wednesday night, chanting "I can't breathe" all the way from Times Square to the Tompkinsville section of Staten Island, many Americans across the country tuned into the live news coverage, wondering how they could help the Garner family or contribute to the ongoing cause against police brutality.
Fortunately, there are ways to lend your support to the Garner family, whether you're located in the Tri-State Area or a thousand miles away. Here are some ways to help the family of Eric Garner and take a stand, whether it's protesting for the cause, signing a petition, or helping to financially support Garner's children.
Holiday Benefit Concert For Eric Garner's Children
New York and New Jersey residents can contribute financially to Eric Garner's children and grandchildren by attending an upcoming holiday benefit concert at Edgewater Hall in Staten Island. Organized by Brooklyn-based group North Americans Against A Police State, the holiday concert will feature local rapper Ty "Blizzy" Black, who produced a song called "Killer Cops" in honor of Garner and other recent victims of excessive use of force by police officers.
According to the concert's organizers, all proceeds from the event will go toward purchasing Christmas gifts for Garner's children and grandchildren. Organizers are asking for a $15 donation, and tickets can be purchased on the NAAPS website.
"We expect the event to be a healing situation because we know his kids and his grandkids will not feel left out of Christmas," NAAPS Director of Communications Thierry Rufnak told Staten Island Advance.
Black added to the Staten Island newspaper that the concert will provide release for local residents, as well as express solidarity for the Garner family:
[Eric Garner] had six children and the ones who are older have children too. So we want them to know that there are people in the community who are with them — that the community is standing with them in this time of tragedy.
Donating To This GoFundMe Page
The Charlotte Activists Collective have started a GoFundMe support page for Esaw Garner and her children, and you can donate here. So far, it's far short of its $1 million goal.
National March Against Police Violence
In the wake of the Eric Garner and Michael Brown grand jury decisions, Al Sharpton's National Action Network is organizing a national march in Washington, D.C. The National March Against Police Violence, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 13, will be led by Sharpton and other African-American community leaders. The family members of Garner, Brown and Akai Gurley, an African-American man killed by NYPD in November, are expected to attend.
Those interested in attending the national march can RSVP directly on the NAN website. The organization said buses may be arranged for those who live outside the Washington area.
Sharpton said at a press conference on Wednesday night that it's "time for a national march on a national crisis." He reiterated that he and his fellow Black leaders were calling for peaceful, non-violent demonstrations. The march wouldn't condone violence, but instead make "police violence stop:"
The grand jury systems on the state level are broken and seems to lack the capacity to deal with police when you are dealing with questions of criminality and a killer.
"Justice For Eric Garner" Petition
The African-American organization Color of Change has been hosting a "Justice For Eric Garner" petition over the last several months, and it's still going strong. Signing the petition will send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama, urging the two leaders to hold NYPD accountable and file criminal charges against Pantaleo.
The Color of Change petition, which you can find here, states:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and President Obama have a duty and responsibility to protect our community against discriminatory policing tactics and violence, especially when local prosecutors fail to do so. But the DOJ will only file federal criminal charges against Eric Garner's killer if enough of us raise our voices and demonstrate a groundswell of outrage against a criminal justice system that shields killer cops from dealing with the consequences of their deadly actions.
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