PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Across the country and here in Pittsburgh, protests continue today in response to a decision by a grand jury in New York City to not indict another white police officer in the death of a black suspect.
Protesters are out once again today in Downtown Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Gov. Tom Wolf Says 'There Is A Light At The End Of The Tunnel' 1 Year After Pennsylvania's First COVID-19 Cases
They gathered at the August Wilson Center at 1 p.m. to demand justice and an end to police brutality.
The protesters could be heard chanting “Not one more!” and they also were performing what they call “die-ins,” lying in the middle of the street.
Pittsburgh Police closed down several streets for the downtown protest this afternoon.
On Wednesday night, more than 100 people walked through the streets of Oakland. After protestors gathered in Schenley Plaza, the rally took to Forbes Avenue.
Meanwhile, this morning in New York, a small Christmas tree was added to the Eric Garner memorial at the site where Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in an apparent chokehold last summer.
“We need justice for this. Somebody needs to pay,” said Esaw Snipes-Garner, Eric’s widow.
Local police offered some insight into the choke hold that was used on Garner, saying it’s not commonly used. Allegheny County Police say it’s not permitted unless lethal force is warranted.
“We do not train the use of the choke hold,” said Allegheny County Police Supt. Charles Moffatt. “As a matter of fact, our rules prohibit the use of it.”READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: State Extends Nursing Home Virus Response Program
“In the case of a choke hold, you’ve got the guy right here,” said former Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht. “You’re face-to-face and he’s saying ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.’ This case is so egregious.”
Garner’s wife and mother appeared on CBS This Morning, saying they’re devastated the grand jury decided not to charge Pantaleo.
“Justice is when everyone involved in my son’s death that day stands accountable,” said Gwen Carr, Eric’s mother.
The incident was recorded on cell phone video. Garner can be heard saying he couldn’t breathe.
Garner’s last words were a rallying cry at protests across the country on Wednesday.
Rev. Al Sharpton told CBS This Morning the video separates this case from the Ferguson, Missouri, incident as well as others that involve questionable police force.
“That tape says, ‘everybody, let’s go to trial and see what happened here.’ But for a grand jury to look at the tape and say, ‘let’s not even go to trial,’ that’s kind of hard for a lot of people to swallow,” the civil rights activist said.
Sharpton joined other civil rights leaders at a summit on policing here in Harlem on Thursday. They’re planning a national march Dec. 13 in Washington DC.
Officer Pantaleo released a statement expressing remorse for Garner’s death.
His lawyer told the New York Times, Pantaleo testified he did not intend to hurt Garner, and that he thought because Garner could speak, he could still breathe.MORE NEWS: Thousands To Be Vaccinated At Western Pennsylvania's Largest Single-Day Clinic
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