In memory of Eric Garner — who was killed when an NYPD officer put him in a chokehold in Staten Island in 2014 — and in dedication to the lives lost to violence over the past week, Garner’s family has recorded a new song titled “I Can’t Breathe.”
Just before his death, which was filmed and posted on the Internet, Garner said “I can’t breathe” to police officers 11 times. A Staten Island grand jury did not indict Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who put Garner in the fatal chokehold.
Garner’s sister Ellisha Flagg sings and brother Steven Flagg raps on “I Can’t Breathe,” which is streaming via SoundCloud and can be purchased at iTunes and Apple Music. The song will be available on all music outlets on July 16.
“If I lose my car, I can get another one / Lose my house, I can get another one / Lose my mind, I create another one / They took my brother and I can never get another one / I’m tired of a system that will never love me / A system that took my brother from me / No matter how much money I receive, I can hear my brother crying ‘I can’t breathe,’” Steven Flagg raps on the track.
“The song is dedicated to the struggle everyone is going through,” Garner’s family tells Billboard.
Garner, 43, was a husband and a father to six children, including Erica Garner, who started the non-profit Garner Way Foundation to protest against police brutality and injustice following her dad’s death.
Listen to “I Can’t Breathe” below.