The Death of Eric Garner & Citizen Journalism

Adam Pugsley & Lauren Dick

         In 2014, the death of New York citizen Eric Garner caused outrage after he was put into a chokehold by an NYPD officer who had accused him of selling loose cigarettes on the street, resulting in his death.

         Despite the official police report’s claim that the officers grabbed Eric Garner by the arms, the entire incident was recorded on the cellphone of Mr. Garner’s friend. The video clearly showed the officer with him in a chokehold, a move that is prohibited for NYPD officers.

         His final words, “I can’t breathe”, were used in protests across America, as debates ensued about about race and police brutality in the country (

         This is only one of many examples of the impact that citizen journalism is now having. People have the ability to share first hand accounts of incidents like this, and it’s a big deal. The officers involved were ultimately held accountable for their actions, demonstrating the power of something as simple as a camera phone.

         You can watch the full video here: (

Works Cited:

'I can't breathe': Eric Garner put in chokehold by NYPD officer – video. 1 Dec., 2014. Web. 22 Nov., 2015. eric-garner-chokehold-death-video