Eric Garner had not committed any crime when NYPD undercover police officers approached him on a street in Staten Island, NY on July 17, 2014. They claimed that he was selling untaxed cigarettes. Eric Garner responds:
"Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I'm tired of it. (...) Everyone standing here will tell you I didn't do nothing. I did not sell nothing. Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. (...) I'm minding my business, officer, I'm minding my business. Please just leave me alone."
One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, then approached Garner from behind, trying to handcuff a man who had not done anything wrong. When Garner tries to pull his arms away Pantaleo placed his arms around Garner's neck, putting him in a chokehold.
With his face on the ground Eric Garner is telling Pantaleo "I can't breathe" eleven times. Pantaleo does not ease the chokehold until 43-year-old Eric Garner is dead.
Four months later a grand jury decided to not indict Daniel Pantaleo.
Eric Garner was the father of six children. His youngest child was three months old when he was murdered by Daniel Pantaleo.