Sports Stars Show ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Solidarity

NFL players and NBA basketball stars have shown their support for protesters angered by police violence against African American suspects.

Cleveland Browns cornerback Johnson Bademosi wrote the words “I Can’t Breathe” on the back of a shirt he wore before Sunday’s NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush also had the slogan written on his warm-up shirt.

The slogan has been used to call attention to the death of Eric Garner, who died after a New York police officer used a chokehold during an arrest in July.

A video of the arrest showed Mr Garner saying “I Can’t Breathe” after he was placed in the chokehold.

Last week a grand jury decided that it would not indict the police officer.

Bademosi said he wore the slogan to call attention to the case, which he described as “ridiculous”.

“It’s not an us-against-them thing. It’s about us standing in solidarity with those of us who know what’s going on,” he said.

Bush said he felt “touched” by the public outcry about violence against African Americans in recent weeks.

“Honestly, I’ve always been the quiet kid. I’ve always been the one who’s reserved, to kind of sit back and not really get into politics and things like that,” he said.

“But I don’t know why I just felt some kind of… I guess the situation just touched me.

“It’s kind of resonated with me. Not because I’ve been through a similar situation or because I’ve seen anybody go through it.

“I just really felt terrible about what was going on these past couple of weeks.”

On Saturday, Chicago Bulls basketball player Derrick Rose wore the message on his T-shirt while warming up for an NBA game.

There were violent clashes in California on the weekend as demonstrators took to the streets to protest the killings of African American suspects by white police officers.

Protesters in Berkeley threw bricks, rocks and pipes at police, who fired tear gas and smoke canisters to quell the crowds.

Peaceful demonstrations have also been held in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas and Seattle, and a number of other cities.

The protest in Berkeley took place hours after mourners gathered at the New York funeral of an unarmed black man shot dead by police on 20 November.

Akai Gurley, 28, who had a two-year-old daughter, was killed when a police officer opened fire in a dimly-lit staircase at a Brooklyn apartment building.

Friends and relatives filed past Mr Gurley’sopen casket at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church to pay their respects.

The funeral came after a series of deaths of black suspects, including 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot dead in Ferguson, Missouri, on 9 August.

His death followed that of Mr Garner, a father of six who was killed in a chokehold by police in New York in July.

In both cases a Grand Jury voted not to indict the white officer involved, sparking widespread anger.

Last month, a 12-year-old African American boy brandishing a replica gun was shot dead in Cleveland, Ohio, by police only seconds after they arrived at the scene.

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8 December 2014 | 2:03 am – Source: orange.co.uk

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