For the first stop of WNYC’s TalkBox—a repurposed payphone that the radio station is using to collect individuals’ comments, as if they were voicemails—the program visited Staten Island, right by the the spot where Eric Garner was killed exactly one year ago by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Garner’s death was one of several that touched off a wave of protest and activism that continues in full force to this very day. On Staten Island, Garner’s death still weighs heavy on those who used the TalkBox.
In their statements, which you can see in the touching video above, commenters (including some who knew or knew of Garner) talked about all that his death meant to them. The comments are heartbreaking and poignant, including the following quotes:
“Hi. My name is Amaya. And I don’t live in New York City but I came to visit my cousin. And on my block there is a lot of people that don’t appreciate dark colored skin and I really don’t know why but it’s not my fault.” — Amaya, young girl from Florida
“He is the image of so many men of color whose lives have been taken from them at the hands of police officers who think brutality is the way of the blue uniform.” - Anonymous
“I live a couple blocks away from where Eric Garner died. I pass by it all time. When I hear the name Eric Garner, I think of mistake after mistake.” – Mark from Staten Island