+
upworthy
More

11 Facts You Should Know About Eric Garner's Death

On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner, a black man, was killed by a white NYPD officer. Here is the story behind his death.

1. Eric Garner had been busted before for selling untaxed cigarettes.

In March 2014, 43-year-old Eric Garner was arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. The NYPD cracks down on low-level offenses like these because of "broken-window policing" — a strategy that former Mayor Rudy Giuliani started in which low-level offenses are given harsh penalties. Why?


According to Giuliani:

    "Murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes. But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other.”

So untaxed cigarettes were also on the same spectrum as murder. A bit ironic given how much cigarettes negatively affect people's health, and yet none of the huge tobacco manufacturers are being pursued by the police.

Before you say, "But Eric was breaking the law!" keep this in mind. A pack of cigarettes. A pack of untaxed cigarettes. Let that image remain in your head.

2. The day he died, Garner was trying to break up a fight. When police arrived, the fight was over.

It happened on Staten Island. Two policemen spotted Garner successfully breaking up a fight between two other people.

In spite of this, the police didn't concern themselves much with the two people who were fighting. Instead, they focused on Garner.

3. The police again tried to arrest Eric for selling cigarettes.

Even though Garner had just stopped two people from assaulting each other, he was suddenly the culprit in the situation.

When the two policemen tried to arrest him, Garner's response was:

    “Every time you see me, you try to arrest me. I’m tired of it. It stops today.”

One of the policemen who tried to arrest Garner is Daniel Pantaleo.

4. Pantaleo placed Garner in a choke hold.

That image above? That's like the choke hold used on Eric. Pantaleo probably didn't know it, Eric was suffering from asthma.

5. Choke holds are banned by the NYPD.

Before you say, "But Pantaleo had the right to use force on a man who was breaking the law!" what he did was actually against the NYPD's rules as of 1993. By putting Garner in a choke hold, he was violating the rules he was bound to as a police officer. He did not have the authority to use that force.

A few days after Garner's death, Pantaleo was stripped of his badge and gun.

6. Garner died after the chokehold. His last words were, "I can't breathe."

His last words started trending on Twitter months later under the hashtag #ICantBreathe.

7. Four medics at the scene didn't give Garner CPR.

In a cellphone video, one of Garner's friends showed that neither the EMTs nor the policemen at the scene were giving him CPR, even though he was clearly unconscious.

This was after Garner's head hit the concrete, according to a friend, and blood was coming out of his mouth.

The four EMTs were suspended for two days without pay.

8. A medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide.

On Aug. 1, 2014, the NYC medical examiner linked Pantaleo's chokehold to Garner's death, as well as "prone positioning during physical restraint by police."

9. There was a video of Eric's death.

Out of respect, we're choosing not to include the video. This description from a Time article should be enough:

    Orta’s video shows what appears to be one officer pressing Garner’s face into the sidewalk as other officers attempt to subdue him. On the ground, Garner can be heard repeatedly saying "I can’t breathe."

How about the guy who filmed Garner's death, Ramsey Orta? Well...

10. A grand jury indicted the man who filmed Garner's death.

He wasn't indicted for filming the incident. But Orta was indicted on weapons charges about a month after he filmed Garner's death. According to the Huffington Post:

    Orta testified that the charges were falsely mounted by police in retaliation for his role in documenting Garner's death, but the grand jury rejected his contention, charging him with single felony counts of third-degree criminal weapon possession and criminal firearm possession.

And then, in a twist of fate...

11. A grand jury did not indict the police officer who killed Garner.

See the New York Times for the story.

So selling untaxed cigarettes ended up in a man dying and a policeman not facing charges. How can we call this justice?

10 out of 1,000 American police officers are accused of misconduct.

23.8% of those have been accused of excessive force.

68% of felony defendants in the general population are convicted.

However, only 33% of police accused of misconduct are convicted.

(All these facts are via FiveThirtyEight).

You can find out more about police abuse by checking out this ACLU action manual here. It might be from 1997, but you'd be surprised how relevant (sadly) it still is nearly 18 years later.

Prison Culture, which is a pretty epic blog, has some resources, too.

The Harvard Kennedy School also has some good readings collected by its center on media, politics, and public policy that you should totally check out if you have the time.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.


The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.

The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.

The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.

The breed earned a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and first in the National Dog Show.

The breed made national news in early 2021 when Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest while walking two of her Frenchies in a dog heist. He recovered from his injuries, and the dogs were later returned.

They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.

“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”

They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.

The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.

american kennel club, french bulldog, most popular dog

An adorable French Bulldog

via Pixabay

French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.

Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.

Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.

1 French Bulldogs

2 Labrador Retrievers

3 Golden Retrievers

4 German Shepherd Dogs

5 Poodles

6 Bulldogs

7 Rottweilers

8 Beagles

9 Dachshunds

10 German Shorthaired Pointers


This article originally appeared on 03.17.23

A woman is upset with her husband and wants to leave him.

There are a few big reasons why 70% of divorces in the United States among heterosexual couples are filed by women. Women have more economic opportunities than in decades past and are better positioned to care for themselves and their children without a husband’s income.

Another big reason is that even though the world has become much more egalitarian than in the past, women still bear the brunt of most of the emotional labor in the home. Gilza Fort-Martinez, a Florida, US-based licensed couples’ therapist, told the BBC that men are socialized to have lower emotional intelligence than women, leaving their wives to do most of the emotional labor.

Secondly, studies show that women still do most of the domestic work in the home, so many are pulling double duty for their households.


A TikTokker with two children (@thesoontobeexwife) shared why she decided to leave her husband of two decades and her story recounts a common theme: She did all the work and her husband did little but complain.

The video, entitled “Why women leave,” has received over 2 million views.

@thesoontobeexwife

Y’all I laughed when I realized he truly does treat me better now then when he was trying to be in a marriage with me. How is this better?? How did I ever think before was ok?? #toxicrelationship #divorce #mentalloadofmotherhood #divorcetok #divorceisanoption #chooseyou #mentalhealth #mentalload #fyp #mentalload #emotionallabor

“So for the men out there who watch this, which frankly I kind of hope there aren’t any, you have an idea maybe what not to do,” she starts the video. “Yesterday, I go to work all day, go pick up one kid from school, go grocery shopping, go pick up the other kid from school, come home. Kids need a snack–make the snack. Kids want to play outside – we play outside.”

Her husband then comes home after attending a volunteer program, which she didn’t want him to join, and the self-centeredness begins. “So he gets home, he eats the entire carton of blueberries I just purchased for the children’s lunch and asks me what’s for dinner. I tell him I don’t know because the kids had a late snack and they’re not hungry yet,” she says in the video.

She then explains how the last time he cooked, which was a rare event, he nearly punched a hole in the wall because he forgot an ingredient. Their previous home had multiple holes in the walls. Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and host of the Power of Different podcast, says that when punch walls it’s a sign that they haven’t “learned to deal with anger in a reasonable way.”

“Anyway, finally one kid is hungry,” the TikTokker continues. “So I offered to make pancakes because they’re quick and easy and it’s late. He sees the pancake batter and sees that there’s wheat flour in it and starts complaining. Says he won’t eat them. Now I am a grown adult making pancakes for my children who I am trying to feed nutritionally balanced meals. So yes, there’s wheat flour in the pancake mix.”

Then her husband says he’s not doing the dishes because he didn’t eat any pancakes. “Friends, the only thing this man does around this house is dishes occasionally. If I cook, he usually does the dishes. I cook most nights. But here’s the thing. That’s all he does. I do everything else. Everything. Everything.”

She then listed all of the household duties she handles.

“I cook, I clean the bathrooms, I make the lunches, I make the breakfasts, I mow the lawn, I do kids’ bedtime. I literally do everything and he does dishes once a day, maybe,” she says.

@thesoontobeexwife

I HAVE OFFICIALLY FILED FOR DIVORCE 🎉 #divorce #divorcetok #toxicrelationship #divorceisanoption #fyp #mentalhealth #chooseyou #iamenough #iwillnotbeafraid #mentalloadofmotherhood #emotionallabor

The video received over 8700 comments and most of them were words of support for the TikTokker who would go on to file for divorce from her husband.

"The amount of women I’ve heard say that their male partners are only teaching how to be completely independent of them, theirs going to be so many lonely men out there," Gwen wrote. "I was married to someone just like this for over 35 years. You will be so happy when you get away from him," BeckyButters wrote.

"The way you will no longer be walking on eggshells in your own home is an amazing feeling. You got this!" Barf Simpson added.


This article originally appeared on 5.21.23

Island School Class, circa 1970s.

Parents, do you think your child would be able to survive if they were transported back to the '70s or '80s? Could they live at a time before the digital revolution put a huge chunk of our lives online?

These days, everyone has a phone in their pocket, but before then, if you were in public and needed to call someone, you used a pay phone. Can you remember the last time you stuck 50 cents into one and grabbed the grubby handset?

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, roughly 100,000 pay phones remain in the U.S., down from 2 million in 1999.

Do you think a 10-year-old kid would have any idea how to use a payphone in 2022? Would they be able to use a Thomas Guide map to find out how to get somewhere? If they stepped into a time warp and wound up in 1975, could they throw a Led Zeppelin album on the record player at a party?


Another big difference between now and life in the '70s and '80s has been public attitudes toward smoking cigarettes. In 1965, 42.4% of Americans smoked and now, it’s just 12.5%. This sea change in public opinion about smoking means there are fewer places where smoking is deemed acceptable.

But in the early '80s, you could smoke on a bus, on a plane, in a movie theater, in restaurants, in the classroom and even in hospitals. How would a child of today react if their third grade teacher lit up a heater in the middle of math class?

Dan Wuori, senior director of early learning at the Hunt Institute, tweeted that his high school had a smoking area “for the kids.” He then asked his followers to share “something you experienced as a kid that would blow your children’s minds.”


A lot of folks responded with stories of how ubiquitous smoking was when they were in school. While others explained that life was perilous for a kid, whether it was the school playground equipment or questionable car seats.

Here are a few responses that’ll show today’s kids just how crazy life used to be in the '70s and '80s.

First of all, let’s talk about smoking.

Want to call someone? Need to get picked up from baseball practice? You can’t text mom or dad, you’ll have to grab a quarter and use a pay phone.

People had little regard for their kids’ safety or health.

You could buy a soda in school.

Things were a lot different before the internet.

Remember pen pals?

A lot of people bemoan the fact that the children of today aren’t as tough as they were a few decades back. But that’s probably because the parents of today are better attuned to their kids’ needs so they don't have to cheat death to make it through the day.

But just imagine how easy parenting would be if all you had to do was throw your kids a bag of Doritos and a Coke for lunch and you never worried about strapping them into a car seat?


This article originally appeared on 06.08.22

via Google

People reading at the Gothenburg City Library in Sweden.

Basketball coaching legend John Wooden once famously said, "The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching," and he has a great point. It’s one thing to do what’s right when you are afraid you’ll be punished for doing the wrong thing by an authority figure. It’s another to do the right thing because your peers will applaud you.

But the highest moral good is doing what’s right when no one is watching because that’s doing good for its own sake.

A story out of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that in that community, the patrons of its library know a little something about doing good just because it’s the right thing to do.

On November 4, the Gothenburg City Library was closed for All Saints Day. The day is a holiday dedicated to remembering loved ones who passed by lighting a candle on their graves, or spending time with family and having a festive meal.


The City Library was scheduled to be closed for the holiday, but one of the employees forgot to lock the building door. So, being that it was a Saturday, hundreds of people flocked to the library to check out books, read magazines, surf the internet, or play video games.

gothenburg sweden, libraries, kindness

Bike parking at the Gothenburg City Library in Sweden.

via Johannes Ortner/Flickr

Library employee Anna Carin Elf was in the neighborhood and was shocked to see people walking in and out of the library when it was supposed to be closed. Even though it wasn’t supposed to be open, the people in the library just went about their business as if it was a typical day.

“They were surprised. They thought it was a bit empty,” Elf said, according to ZME Science. “The people in the library behaved as usual. Many were sitting reading newspapers, some families were in the children’s section and others were searching for books on the computer.”

Elf contacted her boss and another colleague and told everyone in the library that the building was closed. The patrons closed up their books and went home. But some left with books for some weekend reading.

The librarians later did a tally and found that 446 people visited the library on All Saints Day and 246 books were borrowed. Surprisingly, all of the books were returned within 5 days. "Nothing was destroyed. It's amazing that Gothenburgers enter an empty library and treat it so lovingly," Elf told The Local.

Through that act, the people of Gothenburg showed us what community spirit is all about. Their collective honesty is a beautiful indicator of their love for their library, its resources and their fellow citizens. Because when you rob a library, you’re stealing from your community.

The story is a powerful reminder to people all over the world of how we should view our public libraries. They aren’t just buildings but a crucial part of our community, a hub of learning and a symbol of our trust in each other.

It also proves the old Iraqi proverb: “The reader does not steal, and the thief does not read.”


This article originally appeared on 11.9.23


Family

Dad shares family's confusion when his young son demanded 'people chicken' for dinner

It took them awhile to figure it out, but once you see it, you can't unsee it.

"People chicken" sounds…disturbing

One of the best parts of having kids is having a full-time, front row seat to the way they interpret and use language as they grow. There's the classic mispronunciations of "spaghetti," of course, but there are also one-of-a-kind terms they coin based on their limited vocabulary and the unique way they look at the world.

Kids say the darnedest things, and as Dillon White shared on Instagram, one of those darned things could be a young child requesting "people chicken" for dinner. Not just requesting, but demanding: "I WANT PEOPLE CHICKEN!!"

People chicken. There are only so many ways to interpret that, all of which could land you on the FBI's radar.

Of course, it was a small child saying this, so there had to be an explanation.

White explained that he and his wife tried everything to get their kiddo to clarify what he meant by "people chicken," including having him draw a picture of what he was wanting. Unfortunately, the stick figure person he drew did not help relieve any concerns that their child might be a cannibal.

Finally, White's 7-year-old daughter came up with a solution that revealed what her younger brother wanted. It was not, in fact, chicken made out of people. Phew.

Watch:

It's true. Once you see Colonel Sanders' bow tie as a stick figure, you can't unsee it.

Even KFC's official account responded to the video, writing, "You see it once, and you can't unsee it." HA.

White was not alone in his kid seeing the stick figure Col. Sanders.

"The SAME thing (conversation) happened to us 22 years ago!! My toddler was practically throwing himself trying to make us understand that he wanted 'Old Man Chicken'!!!!!! And yup, it was KFC he was asking for. We have referred to it as ‘Old Man Chicken’ all these years now 😂!!" shared on commenter.

"About halfway through we figured out what he was talking about but that’s only because my kids have been saying for years that the KFC man is a stick figure with a really big head. Tell Mason he’s not the only kid who thought that.Lol 😂😂😂" shared another.

"I think I’ve been working with children too long because the instant you said people chicken my brain said 'that’s kfc,' 😂 wrote another.

Other people chimed in to share their kids' hilarious naming conventions for chicken places:

"My son was in tears for 'Pinky Toe.' Turns out he thought the Chick-fil-A emblem was a foot 😂," wrote one parent.

"Lol. My daughter refers to Chick-fil-A as 'foot' because their logo actually reserved a footprint. So interesting thinking of the different ways that children see things that we adults don't. It's amazing!" shared another.

"My kids call Buffalo Wild Wings 'stinky skunks' because from a distance, the logo looks like a skunk to them. We went through a similar very confusing moment to figure that one out as you can imagine, 🤦♀️🤣" shared another.

White is right. We should let kids name everything. They're so much better at it than adults are.

You can follow Dillon White on Instagram here and TikTok here.


This article originally appeared on 2.7.24