The Rev. Al Sharpton, who hosted the alleged victim Eric Garner's wife at a rally in Harlem on Saturday, preached from Riverside Church on Sunday and reminded congregants of Garner's final reported words: "I can't breathe." Credit: Bess Adler/Metro
The family of Staten Island man Eric Garner stood alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday to urge peace in the face of protests both in New York and in Missouri.
Garner's mother Gwen Carr reminded the crowd at the Harlem gathering to join the planned caravan across the Verrazano Bridge to the site where he son died while under police custody for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
Moments earlier, Sharpton roused the crowd with harsh words towards the policing tactics that he argued led to the deaths of Garner in Staten Island and 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Authorities in Ferguson have linked Brown as a suspect to a shoplifting incident reportedly immediately before an officer allegedly tried to force him off the street.
"It's not only for my son. It's for Michael Brown," Carr said. "It could be for your son next, your husband next."
Sharpton, who flew down to Ferguson on Sunday for a rally with Brown's family and supporters, said both men are victims of aggressive policing of so-called low-level crimes.
The premise of broken windows is the same premise of stop and frisk, he added.
"There's no difference between selling loosies and telling kids to get out of the street," Sharpton declared as he asked for peaceful demonstration next week.
"Eric Garner or Michael Brown could have been us," Sharpton said.