Police Arrest 76 People At An Eric Garner Rally In London

It was all because they wanted to protest inside Westfield shopping centre…


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Police have arrested 76 people in London’s Westfield after they staged a die-in at the shopping centre to protest a New York grand jury’s decision to not indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner.

Around 600 people gathered at the Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre to take part in the demonstration, echoing and supporting rallies in New York and across America. These protests, where people chant Eric Garner’s last words ‘I can’t breathe’ and sometimes lie down on the floor, are also taking part in places as far flung as Hong Kong.

One protest was indoors, one was outside. Scotland Yard says when they asked the ones inside to move outside, most of the group did so peacefully. However, one group tried to gain access to the centre again and were arrested on suspicion of public order offences. One man was held on suspicion of assault.

Tweeted photos from the protest show that a kettle was deployed, in temperatures of six degrees. The police called this a tactic ‘a containment for the purpose of preventing violence and effecting arrests.’


Chief superintendent Mark Bird told the BBC: ‘We will always work with those that wish to demonstrate lawfully – as the majority of protesters did yesterday.

‘However, we will not tolerate the small minority that offer violence or commit other criminal acts, such as that witnessed outside Westfield.’

Eric Garner was a 43-year-old man who was killed by Staten Island police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who used a headlock (a move that New York police are banned from using) to restrain him during an arrest. Despite Eric saying ‘I can’t breathe’ 11 times, the officer continued to use force and he died.

The whole thing was recorded by a friend, and you can even watch the video. It was then up to a grand jury to decide if Daniel Pantaleo would face charges – they said no last week.

This decision came just a week after it was decided that officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, would also not face trial. Protests and demonstrations have been going on ever since, in an attempt to address the fact that if there’s a black victim, it seems like police officers can get away with murder.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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