Dec 6, 2014 11:30 AM

Family of NYC chokehold victim moved by protests

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) The mother and widow of the unarmed black man whose chokehold death sparked protests across the country said Saturday they've been moved by the thousands of peaceful demonstrators who have taken to the streets after a New York City grand jury declined to indict the white officer involved.

"It is just so awesome to see how the crowds are out there," said Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, who said she herself was stuck in her car after protests shut down traffic.

"I was just so proud of that crowd," Carr said. "It just warmed my heart."

Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said she saw demonstrators from her apartment window and told her son, "Look at all the love that your father's getting."

Demonstrators around the country have staged die-ins and other protests since the Garner grand jury's decision Wednesday, which closely followed a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white officer in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, unarmed black 18-year-old.

Police said 20 protesters were arrested on disorderly conduct charges in New York Friday night. Hundreds of protesters marched and many briefly laid down in Macy's flagship store, Grand Central Terminal and an Apple store. They streamed along Fifth Avenue sidewalks and other parts of Manhattan, with signs and chants of "Black lives matter" and "I can't breathe."

In Oakland, California, hundreds of protesters briefly blocked Interstate 880, a major freeway, on Friday night. There were no immediate reports of any arrests or injuries.

Protests have also been held in Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami and a number of other cities.

Garner's mother and widow spoke Saturday morning at the Rev. Al Sharpton's Harlem headquarters. Sharpton and Garner's family planned to lay a wreath later Saturday at the site of Garner's July 17 death on Staten Island.


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