In July of 2014, unarmed Staten Island resident Eric Garner was taken down to the ground by police officers, and eventually died after screaming “I can’t breathe!” several times while an officer applied an outlawed chokehold known as the “seat belt.” Garner’s death, and the death of several other unarmed Black men across the country have spurred nationwide protests and initiatives, most notably the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which recently met with Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on a myriad of issues. The officer that applied the fatal chokehold to Garner was white, and was not charged by a grand jury; he remains employed and on desk duty. Instead, the bystander that took the now viral video of Garner’s takedown was slapped with what he alleges was a bogus weapons charge.
However, today, over a year since Garner’s unfortunate death–which was ruled by medical examiners to be a homicide–charges are being filed against one of the officers that were on the scene. Police sergeant Kizzy Adonis has been charged with failure to supervise, which is an “internal disciplinary sanction,” according to the L.A. Times. Though Adonis wasn’t one of the officers already on the scene, she responded to radio calls for back-up. Sergeant Ed Mullins, the head of Adonis’ union, called the charges “political.”
The charges are currently pending a federal inquiry.