The sister and brother of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man killed after being placed in a stranglehold by an officer in July 2014, released a new song “I Can’t Breathe,” inspired by the words Garner repeated 11 times as he died. “I Can’t Breathe” subsequently became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement protesting police brutality.
The track by Ellisha and Steven Flagg, Garner’s sister and brother, arrives just a week before the second anniversary of Garner’s July 17th death. The lyrics reflect the high tensions that remain between police and the black community in the time since he was placed in a fatal chokehold. “I can hear my brother crying ‘I can’t breathe’/ Now I’m in this trouble and I can’t leave/ We all know the solution but they blame you and me/ We’re ain’t gonna stop, until all us free,” Ellisha Flagg sings on the chorus.
“I Can’t Breathe” is available on iTunes, Billboard reports, with the song arriving on all digital retailers on July 16th. “The song is dedicated to the struggle everyone is going through,” Garner’s family said in a statement.
“I Can’t Breathe” is the second song the Garner family has released following the tragedy. In January 2015, Garner’s daughter Erica Garner and his brother Steven Flagg vented on “This Ends Today,” recorded in the grief the family faced after the police officer responsible for choking Garner to death found out a grand jury would not pursue charges.