It is hard to believe that it has been one year since Eric Garner’s death. It is hard to believe because a year later, it feels like not much has changed – we are still writing far too many stories about Black men and women dying unjustly. On July 17th 2014, an illegal chokehold by an NYPD officer, who along with many other officers surrounded Garner, and resulted in his death. His last words, “I can’t breathe” still ring in the ear; they are haunting. The officer who performed the chokehold was found innocent. People of all colors who believe in justice across the world cried in utter disbelief. Yes, this is the United States in the twenty-first century, and yes, we still have a long way to go.
A year later, today, a rally is held in Brooklyn, New York to remember Garner – a rally demanding justice. We keep asking because we do often do not receive it. But this rally is not as profound as seeing women who have lost their children in highly publicized cases come together to be there for each other, and to remember Eric Garner at a vigil one year after his passing. The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner are seen posing at the vigil in a photo that is both beautifu and powerful. And yet it is overwhelming knowing what these women have gone through.
May their sons rest in peace. And may these mothers all continue to heal.
EDIT: An earlier version of this article said it was Tamir Rice’s mother in lieu of Oscar Grant’s mother. We apologize for the mishap in this delicate matter.