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Central New Yorkers protest Eric Garner case

Ellen Abbott/WRVO
Roxanne Hill of Syracuse joined a protest at the federal building in Syracuse

The Eric Garner protests have spread to central New York. About two dozen demonstrators gathered in front of the federal building in Syracuse today to express concern about latest court case involving an unarmed black man killed by police.  

Anna Morris of Syracuse says she was angry and hurt when she heard there would be no charges filed against the police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City.

"How can you not bring an indictment when you see all the evidence even to the man dying, and his last words were, ‘I can’t breathe.’ And if you can’t understand that? Oh my God,” said Morris.

Credit Ellen Abbott
Anna Morris of Syracuse speaking out about the death of Eric Garner in New York City.

Many of the demonstrators had seen the video of the so-called chokehold, and were incredulous at the outcome.

Roxanne Hill of Syracuse carried a sign that said, "It’s not enough to be compassionate, you must act.” So for her, that action was joining others disturbed by police action involving blacks. And she hopes something comes from protests like these.

“To me, the end game here is to move forward, to pressure our government to be more responsive. That means there should be a re-look at the case in New York City. And if we have to take it federal, so be it, we take it federal,” said Hill. “I think America has a history of, you don’t have rights unless you fight for them.  And you have to respond to injustice. And we’ve been sleep. And there’s been a slow response, and we’re building momentum.”

Students on the campus of SUNY Oswego also held a peaceful protest today in support of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the black man who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.