- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Rev. Al Sharpton and thousands of demonstrators gathered in New York City on Saturday to protest the chokehold death of a man during his arrest last month.

The protesters gathered at the Staten Island sidewalk where Eric Garner was brought down by the NYPD before marching to the offices of the Staten Island district attorney and the 120th Precinct, the New York Daily News reported.

“We are not here to tear down,” Mr. Sharpton said. “We are here to build up … We are not against police, but those that break the law must be held accountable just like anybody else.”

Garner, a 43-year-old asthmatic, died on July 17 after a police officer arrested him on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes. A video showed Garner yelling that he couldn’t breathe as a police officer restrained him in a chokehold.

The city medical examiner determined Garner’s death was a homicide, but no charges have yet been brought against law enforcement.

The song “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” blared Saturday as the crowd reached the prosecutor’s office, the Daily News reported.

Demonstrators chanted “No justice, no peace” and “I can’t breathe” — Garner’s last words before his death.

They also invoked the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, raising their hands in the air and saying, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

Sharpton, Garner’s family, the mothers of Amadou Diallo, Ramarley Graham and Sean Bell — black men also killed by NYPD officers — praised the crowd for the peaceful demonstration, The Times reported.