Last week the world witnessed several New York City Police Department officers place a Staten Island man, who was seemingly doing nothing, in a choke hold in an attempt to arrest him.
In the video, shot by someone who had witnessed Garner break up a fight seconds before, the father of six tells officers that he can’t breathe as they are seen inflicting the illegal choke hold. Moments later, Garner was unconscious. He was later transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
Garner’s death has sparked outrage throughout the country, but it eerily parallels a poignant scene in Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing showing Radio Raheem being choked to death by police.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing, and it’s a shame that some who are put in the position to protect and serve can’t seem to grasp that concept.
Sometimes art really does imitate life.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.