News City Council members highlight Eric Garner case by reciting 'I can't breathe' at stated meeting Several City Council members donned shirts emblazoned with Eric Garner's final words -- "I can't breathe" -- in a show of solidarity against police violence at a Council hearing on Tuesday. Photo Credit: William Alatriste By Ivan Pereira firstname.lastname@example.org @IvanPer4 Updated July 24, 2019 12:19 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email More than two dozen City Council members used a stated meeting at City Hall on Tuesday to speak out about the Eric Garner case and highlight incidents of police brutality and shootings of unarmed minorities. Twenty-six members came to the meeting wearing T-shirts that read “I can’t breathe” in light of the Department of Justice’s decision last week not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's 2014 death. During the head count, each of the present members read off one name of an unarmed civilian killed by police officers over the years, including Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell. Each name was followed by the phrase “I can’t breathe.” When City Councilwoman Debi Rose read Garner’s name she said “I can’t breathe” 11 times, the same number of times Garner made his plea in the videotaped confrontation with police officers on Staten Island. The Rev. Jacqueline Lewis, of the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village, also joined in following her invocation. Lewis lay on the floor of the chambers and in a whisper recited the words “I can’t breathe” as council members looked on. Several Council members who didn’t wear the shirts, including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, noted their solidarity with the other members. Johnson said he was outraged over the federal government’s decision to drop the Garner case and called on the mayor and NYPD to fire Pantaleo. "This is another slap to the face to his mother, Gwen Carr, and his entire family," he said. “Simply put, those responsible for the death of Eric Garner should be held accountable.” Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly said he would let the NYPD’s departmental hearing play itself out before making any decision regarding Pantaleo’s badge. By Ivan Pereira email@example.com @IvanPer4 Ivan has been a staff reporter with amNewYork since May 2012 and covers breaking news, politics and enterprise stories. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Mayor met with Garner family to discuss next steps in NYPD trialEmerald Garner said de Blasio told them the decision to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo will be left to NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill. 'No justice, no peace': Protests mark 5 years since Garner's deathThe demonstrations were held just one day after the Department of Justice announced it would not bring civil rights charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Decision on Garner death may aid cop in NYPD trial: LawyerThe decision may work in the officer's favor in his ongoing departmental trial, said the cop's defense attorney. No federal charges in Eric Garner's deathThe case become a flashpoint on issues of race and police use of force after a cellphone video showed Eric Garner gasping, "I can't breathe" as he was subdued. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.