The death of a Bronx man is eerily reminiscent of the tragic moment Eric Garner was killed by New York police.
The New York Daily News reports forty-year-old Andrew Kearse died last May in the back of a police cruiser. When the father of nine began having difficulties breathing, he pleaded with the officers for help. They repeatedly ignored him.
Among his dying words were: “I can’t breathe.”
The same phrase was heard in footage of Garner’s death as New York police officers placed him in an illegal choke-hold in 2014. After viewing the dash-cam footage of her late husband’s final moments, Kearse’s widow Angelique Negroni-Kearse released audio of the incident to the public.
“I want justice for Andrew and I want that cop to go to jail,” Negroni-Kearse said. “You can hear my husband in distress. He was in the backseat, handuffed, gasping for air.”
In the audio, Kearse can be heard uttering the same phrase became a rallying cry to end police brutality after Garner’s 2014 death.
“Please, please, sir,” Kearse is heard saying while struggling to catch his breath. “I can’t breathe! Please! Sir! Yo! Please, please … Officer!”
When cops first tried to arrest Kearse for erratic driving, the 40-year-old ran away on foot.
The results of Kearse’s autopsy have yet to be publicized. Negroni-Kearse intends to file a $25 million lawsuit against the NYPD.