Make A Change
We are asking for council member Deborah Rose to introduce legislation to make September 15th, Eric Garner’s birthday, Eric Garner Day in Staten Island.
It’s been almost 6 years since Eric Garner’s death at the hands of police and we are still witnessing the practice of chokeholds and other forms of deadly violence against our citizens due to law enforcement. Eric was confronted by police for selling loose cigarettes on the street. An instance that should’ve required no more than a verbal interaction and inexplicably escalated to my son being placed under arrest and a deadly chokehold to subdue him. My son was asthmatic and repeatedly begged officers to release him proclaiming “I can’t breathe”. Despite my son’s pleas, he lost consciousness under the chokehold and laid motionless on the ground for 7 minutes until an ambulance arrived. An hour later, my son was pronounced dead after suffering a heart attack on the way to the hospital.
From Elijah McClain to George Floyd, we are still seeing that although laws have passed to protect our citizens from police brutality and deadly force, we are still subject to racist and harmful actions that disproportionately impact black and brown people. Countless names and lives deserve proper recognition and honor. I want my son to be remembered and honored on his birthday, September 15th to celebrate his life and also to highlight a moment of joy that he could’ve experienced every year if he were alive today. With the passing of Eric Garner Day, it is our hope that our community will collectively take a moment to remember what Eric’s death meant to the nation and how it shifted the conversation on harmful police practices. Schools should recognize the day as an avenue to have important conversations about racial profiling and police brutality. The conversation should continue and be recognized yearly to remind us that we have no choice but to move forward and never go back. Join me in telling the New York City Council to make September 15th Eric Garner Day.
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INSPIRATION FOR THE SONG
The Garner Way Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Eric Garner, and in doing the work to ensure that no other family will have to ever suffer the loss of a loved one at the hands of criminally negligent and abusive law enforcement
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Alan Scott is singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C. His melodic groove based songwriting owes a debt to many influences. Alan has shared the bill with artists as diverse as James Brown, the Tom Tom Club, Living Colour, Fishbone, Jake Clemons, Cheap Trick and Moody Blues . His videos, “You Only See Me When I’m Gone “ and “Colors in A Dream” ultimately speak to the power of love, family celebration, and compassion for all. Learn more about Alan Scott at www.alanscottband.com
Check it out!
INSPIRATION FOR THE SONG
“You Only See Me When I’m Gone” was written the night of the Charleston, SC church shootings June 17 2015. “My late Father was a reverend and pastor, and I felt like hatred came into my father house. I had a deep sadness, and also a deep knowing that my relationship to these tragedies would forever change. I would not be silent.” The song came together on the spot, on video at his home. He played the song for some dear friends, and a partnership began to get this song out into the world. The song was recorded in the fall of 2015. After the recording, plans were put in place to record a video.
During this process, video director Lenny Bass reached out to Eric Garner’s Mother, Ms Gwen Carr.
This added an invaluable dimension to our efforts. It allowed us to tell the story of a real family and community reeling from injustice. If people could feel what she feels, walk in the family’s footsteps, maybe it would open some hearts. Humanize the loss. The video was shot in Eric’s home town, Staten Island, New York. “Lenny Bass was born to do this video”, Alan says. “What Lenny adds as a film director is as important as the song”.
“You Only See Me When I’m Gone” will belong to the people. Meaning anybody can license it. Anybody can perform it. They can reshoot a video, record a version of the song, etc. Alan’s team is creating a proprietary platform to make it easy to obtain use of the song.