(Photo: Twitter/screen grab)
The family of Eric Garner, the man killed in a police officer's choke-hold, gathered in New York over the weekend and offered thanks to Jesus.
Garner's mother Gwen Carr expressed her gratitude for the medical examiner ruling her son's death a homicide last week following his death last month.
"When I heard the coroner's report, I tell you," Garner's mother said during a rally in Harlem, New York on Saturday, Aug. 2, according to CBS News. "I was downtown Brooklyn and I was in a store, and when I got the telephone call I guess people thought I was crazy. I just started saying 'Thank you Jesus.'"
Carr and other members of Garner's family were joined at the rally by Reverend Al Sharpton who agreed that the coroner's homicide ruling was positive.
"That in and of itself is probable cause for an arrest," Sharpton said.
The Baptist minister went on to reveal plans to lead a protest march across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City later this month, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sharpton also called upon the federal government to issue a civil rights investigation since the incident occurred between a white police officer and Garner, who was black.
"The district needs to either say I'm going to move forward and arrest or I'm going to defer it to the federal government," Sharpton said.
Garner was killed in Staten Island on July 17 following his arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. On Friday, Aug. 1, a report from the Office of the New York City Medical Examiner determined that Garner died from compression of the neck, known as a choke-hold, compression of the chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by officers, reported SILive.com. The victim's weight – over 300 pounds, and his pre-existing medical conditions - acute and chronic bronchial asthma and hypertensive cardiovascular disease - also contributed to his death.
Several of Garner's six children as well as his widow, Esaw Garner, were also present at the rally on Saturday. The bereaved wife briefly addressed the crowd explaining her mission to get justice for Garner.
"I met with the prosecutors and I felt like I did the right thing by doing that, and I just want them to do the right thing and give me justice for my husband," Garner's widow said, according to CBS. "I want to thank God above for giving us justice for my husband, so that we can move forward and get this cop done with."
Meanwhile, police are banned from using the chokehold maneuver, and video footage of Garner's arrest revealed the 43-year-old victim in a choke-hold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo. According to early reports, police indicated that Garner died from cardiac arrest. However, video captured by a bystander with a cell phone revealed that Pantaleo used a banned choke-hold and dragged Garner to the ground with help from others. The victim was heard saying, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe."
Consequent to Garner's death, four emergency workers were suspended without pay pending an investigation.
"The investigation into Mr. Garner's death continues," the District Attorney's office said, according to CBS.
Watch the video from Garner's arrest here.