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Another Choke Hold, Another Killing

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Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

You should know that on Friday, July 18, 2014, Staten Island resident and father of six, Eric Garner died as a victim of choke hold by New York City Police officers. Eric Garner was unarmed, except for the loose cigarettes he was accused of selling.

You should already know that on December 22, 1989, Bronx resident Anthony Baez was killed when New York City Police officers used a chokehold on him. Anthony Baez was also unarmed, except for the football he was tossing with his brothers.

Even though the New York City Police Department claims that chokeholds are prohibited, they are still being used - even against unarmed New Yorkers. I can only wonder how many other chokehold incidents take place in our city.

You should know that there are so many incidents of police brutality in New York City that I hear about, and without proof, these incidents remain ignored by the media.

My dear reader, I thank God that Mr. Ramsey Otra was able to video this crime against Eric Garner. If his video was not available, this crime would probably have been ignored. Mr. Otra's video has awakened the public - once again - about the severity of police brutality that still exists in the NYPD. I thank God for the Reverend Al Sharpton, and for his efforts to lead a march to call for action in the wake of Eric Garner's death. I thank God for leaders like him who have the fortitude to remain united to condemn these crimes an demand justice.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am calling upon my colleagues in the Senate, especially those legislators from Staten Island - Senator Diane Savino and Senator Andrew Lanza - to come out and express their rage at the injustice that took place against an unarmed Black man in their borough. We all need to unite and condemn this crime, demand justice, and demand that crimes like this never happen again.

This Senator Rev Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.


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