source: NPR News
published: 29 May 2020
The last few weeks have been filled with devastating news – stories about the police killing black people. At this point, these calamities feel familiar – so familiar, in fact, that their details have begun to echo each other.
In July 2014, a cell phone video captured some of Eric Garner’s final words as New York City police officers sat on his head and pinned him to the ground on a city sidewalk: “I can’t breathe.”
On May 25 of this year, the same words were spoken by George Floyd, who pleaded for release as an officer knelt on his neck and pinned him to the ground on a Minneapolis city street.
We’re at the point where the verbiage people use to plead for their lives can be repurposed as shorthand for completely separate tragedies.
Part of our job here at Code Switch is to contextualize and make sense of news like this. But it’s hard to come up with something new to say.
We covered the events in Ferguson in August of 2014 after Michael Brown was killed by the police, and we were in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death in 2015. We covered the deaths of Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and Delrawn Small.