Spike Lee Puts Eric Garner Memorial Outside His Fort Greene Studio

By Janet Upadhye and Ben Fractenberg  on August 5, 2014 6:14pm

 The memorial shows a picture of alleged homicide victim Eric Garner with the words "I can't breathe."
The memorial shows a picture of alleged homicide victim Eric Garner with the words "I can't breathe."
View Full Caption
40 Acres and a Mule

FORT GREENE — Spike Lee erected a memorial outside his Fort Greene film studio for Eric Garner, the man who died while he was being arrested by police on Staten Island.

Garner, a Staten Island father, died on July 18 after police allegedly put him in a chokehold for selling loose cigarettes.

The memorial, a large-scale image of Garner with the words "I can't breathe," was created by artist Adrian Franks and hangs outside the 40 Acres and a Mule studio at 70 South Elliott Pl.

An autopsy ruled that Garner's July 18 death was a homicide by a chokehold, but the city's police unions denied this.

Michael Bailey, 41, who works at a bank in lower Manhattan said he thought the officer who appears to place Garner in a chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo, should "absolutely" be charged with murder. 

"It's homicide," Bailey said. 

He added that he was "stunned" after he first saw the video of Garner's arrest.

"It makes me apprehensive about the police."

Click here for full coverage of Garner's story.

Lee publicly condemned the NYPD's role in Garner's death on Twitter and posted a video mashup of Garner's death mixed with clips of police choking Radio Raheem to death from his movie "Do The Right Thing."

Lee posted pictures of the recently-erected memorial on Facebook and Instagram.

Queens resident Paul Adams, 25, said he doesn't think Pantaleo intended to kill Garner and should at the most be charged with manslaughter. 

Adams added that he thought an investigation would be unlikely to lead to the officer's arrest.

"It's a fraternity with the cops. He'll be back on the streets."

Viewers responded with sadness over Garner's death and anger at the NYPD.

"Unreal that this brutality still happens, unjust. there is no bringing Eric Garner back," Linda Cipriani wrote on Facebook. "My heart goes out to his family. The world needs to wake up."

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement