More than 100 police supporters in ‘I can breathe’ T-shirts mocking Eric Garner’s last words clash with anti-cop protesters in New York City


By Mia De Graaf and Darren Boyle
Daily Mail

NYPD supporters flooded the streets wearing black hoodies branded with the words ‘I CAN breathe’ in a sickening pun on Eric Garner’s last words.

Anti-police protesters adopted the phrase ‘I can’t breathe’ as a rallying call in reference to the moment officer Daniel Pantaleo killed father-of-six Garner in a chokehold. But on Friday night, 100 people hit back at the demonstrations outside City Hall in the controversial customized clothing and confronted anti-cop protesters.

Facing off against the 200 people crying for justice for Eric Garner, they shouted: ‘don’t resist arrest’.

It comes after an Indiana police officer caused outraged offering t-shirts for sale with the legend ‘Breathe Easy: Don’t break the law’ on the front.

The t-shirts were produced by Corporal Jason Barthel of the City of Mishawaka Police in Indiana who owns and operates the South Bend Uniform Company. The t-shirts, which cost from $7.95 are seen as a play on the final words of Eric Garner who died after being restrained by the New York Police Department.

Garner, who was restrained in a choke-hold after he was spotted selling single cigarettes in New York told officers ‘I can’t breathe’, before slipping into unconsciousness.

Corporal Barthel said criticism of his t-shirts is misunderstood.

He said on his company’s Facebook page: ‘For those upset, please understand when we use the slogan “Breathe Easy” we are referring to knowing the police are there for you!

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