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Wu-Tang Clan founding member RZA is speaking out about the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner at the hands of police.  RZA, also a native of Staten Island had a frank discussion with Gawker on Garner’s killing by police officer Daniel Pantaleo, after being placed in a chokehold. According to RZA officers could’ve used several different methods to subdue Garner instead of the one which lead to his tragic death.

MUST READ: Eric Garner’s Daughter Posts Home Address Of An Officer Involved In Killing Her Father

On the police’s encounter with Garner:

Do you think the cops were acting aggressively?

RZA: Those gentlemen were wrong — the cop had a utility belt of options for different escalating scenarios. He had a stick, pepper spray, he had his physical training … but to jump up on him? It looked like a gang fight, and that’s totally wrong. The cops had other options — I’ve been pepper sprayed before, it’s 100% efficient. You gonna chill out. It’s a chill pill.

On July 17, Pantaleo was shown on video placing Garner in a chokehold which is illegal in New York State, after officers accused him of selling illegal loose cigarettes. Garner was also filmed telling police he couldn’t breath multiple times before he died. Pantaleo was taken before a grand jury on Dec. 3 , where they decided not to indict him for Garner’s death triggering nationwide protests demanding justice.  On the chokehold that killed Garner:

So the problem is that the situation escalated to chokehold and eventual death?

RZA: The real problem I have with it is that we got the guy [police officer Daniel Pantaleo] red-handed, in HD quality. And not just the one cop, all those cops should have been indicted. Those are the guys who give us the non-value of black life.

RZA is giving some serious food for thought…


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#ICantBreathe RZA On Eric Garner’s Death: “It Looked Like A Gang Fight”  was originally published on