With another night of civil unrest and protests in the streets of Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd while he was being detained by police, the scenario being played out there remains all-too familiar for some in New York City.
The death and subsequent demonstrations echo a chapter in recent NYC history: Eric Garner's death at the hands of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo almost six years ago.
Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, said she can't bear to watch the video showing a Minneapolis police officer with his knee to the back of Floyd's head as he's pinned on the ground — much like she can't bring herself to watch the now-infamous video where her son called out "I can't breathe" while officers put him in an illegal chokehold. Floyd called out the same thing in the last moments before his death, pleading with officer for nine minutes to let him go.
Carr told NBC New York that she called the Floyd family, and couldn't help but just cry with them. Possibly more than anyone, she knows what they are going through, and wants to support them as they seek accountability for their loved one's death.
"I’m with them. I stand with them in solidarity because this thing is not just a news story. It’s our everyday life," Carr said, adding that the incident is causing her to relive the pain of her son's death all over again.
"It tore me apart...listening to him crying out 'I can't breathe' and no one is listening. They just continue to murder him," she said.
Police said Floyd was suspected of forgery and resisted arrest. Witnesses recorded the ordeal and begged officers to stop, but to no avail. The 46-year-old Floyd was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after.
In the Tompkinsville, Staten Island, neighborhood where Garner died, the phrase "I can't breathe" is still haunting for many. A new sign was placed at the spot where Garner was brought down to the ground in 2014, with the message "In memory of Eric Garner and now George Floyd."
One slight difference between the fatal incidents is that the Minneapolis officers have already lost their jobs — something that took five years after Carr lost her son. She's happy they have been relieved of their duty, but is hoping they face charges as well.
"We have to get those bad police officers off the force," Carr told NBC New York. "It's not only in some neighborhoods. It's around the nation."
NYPD Officer Pantaleo never faced charges in the death of Garner, just a departmental trial. The Minneapolis mayor, the scores and protesters and Floyd's family have all called for charges to be brought against the officers.
"I would like for those officers to be charged with murder. Because that’s exactly what they did. They murdered my brother," said Bridgett Floyd.
"They need to get justice. Justice is not only them firing the police," said Carr. "That’s a step in the right direction. I commend that mayor but much more has to be done.”