Family and Supporters Mourn Eric Garner, Man Who Died After Being Placed in Chokehold in NYPD Custody

Esaw Garner receives a hug during a funeral service for her husband, Eric Garner, held at Bethel Baptist Church on July 23, 2014 in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo: Getty Images)
Esaw Garner receives a hug during a funeral service for her husband, Eric Garner, held at Bethel Baptist Church on July 23, 2014 in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo: Getty Images)

Friends and supporters gathered Wednesday night at a church in Brooklyn, N.Y., to mourn for a man who died last Thursday after being placed in a banned chokehold by police.

Cellphone video of Eric Garner’s altercation with police in Staten Island has gone viral over the past few days, and includes a scene in which Garner says “I can’t breathe” at least eight times as police press his head into the sidewalk. Police said they suspected Garner, a 350-pound asthmatic, of selling untaxed cigarettes.

On Wednesday, Eric Garner’s wife, Esaw Garner, entered Bethel Baptist Church leaning on two young boys, and Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, followed soon after, her head bowed, according to the Metro.

Inside the church, Esaw Garner collapsed as she viewed her husband in a white casket inscribed with the words “Eric Garner, In God’s Care,” according to the New York Daily News. The late husband and father of six wore a white silk suit with turquoise shirt, the News reported.

“My God, they took him. They took my baby. They took my baby,” Esaw Garner screamed, according to the News.

“He cared for everybody,” she said as she fanned herself in the pews. “He didn’t deserve this.”

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SOURCE: Melanie Eversley
USA TODAY

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