In response to Eric Garner’s (pictured) untimely death last summer at the hands of White New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo, the Garner family has released “This Ends Today,” a rap cut on the “I Can’t Breathe” album, according to the New York Daily News.
The haunting nearly four-minute song was recorded by Garner’s 24-year-old daughter Erica Garner and brother Steven Flagg who decided to pen their exasperation about Garner’s case, an incident that has raised the ire of the country in protest.
Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island Dad of six, was reportedly caught selling individual cigarettes, “loosies,” when he was approached by police officers who used bully tactics when they tried to arrest him. In trying to subdue Garner, excessive force was used while several officers idly stood by as Pantaleo used a chokehold that asphyxiated him.
As Garner struggled for his life as he was overpowered by officers, he kept uttering the now-infamous words, “I can’t breathe,” before taking his final breath.
A Staten Island special grand jury declined to indict plainclothes officer Pantaleo in connection with Garner’s chokehold death.
Erica, a stay-at-home Mom who has never recorded a song before, spoke to the New York Daily News regarding the prophetic cut, “It just came from the heart. It’s the first time I ever recorded. We want to get it out there on the radio, anywhere, so as many people as possible hear it.”
The song opens with Garner’s actual voice yelling at “New York’s Finest,” “This ends today,” then sadly, as he is brought down to the ground by an illegal chokehold, the line “I can’t breathe” is incorporated on to the audio clip that is also heard on the song. Outakes from the Rev. Al Sharpton’s eulogy at Garner’s funeral was also added to the song.
Flagg and Erica both trade verses on the song that are sure to bring out a slew of emotions in any listener.