As protesters continue to gather in New York City following a grand jury decision not to convict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner, the victim’s daughter Erica and family member Steven Flagg have released a tribute song, “This Ends Today.” The track is dedicated to the 43-year-old Staten Island man who was choked to death by a police office last year while a video camera captured it. The song, which includes a sample of Garner uttering “I can’t breathe,” a line that has become an unofficial slogan for the protests around the country, deals with the aftermath Garner’s death has had on his family, People writes.
“Just to let y’all know/If you don’t know, you will/It’s sad how my brother Eric Garner was killed/The pain in my heart still refuses to heal,” Flagg raps on the melancholy cut. “Life should be protected if justice is real/Do you know how we feel?/All he had to do is let his lungs be filled.” Flagg then rhymes about how Garner’s family is struggling meal to meal now that their chief provider “could no longer pay bills.” “The grand jury lost their minds,” he rapped. “There needs to be an appeal.”
In her Rolling Stone cover interview, Nicki Minaj said she was upset by Garner’s unpunished killing. “It’s sickening, and I’ve been reading so many people saying, ‘Why are we surprised?'” she said. “That’s what’s really sad: that we should somehow be used to being treated like animals. It’s gotten to the point where people feel like there’s no accountability: If you are law enforcement and you do something to a black person, you can get away with it.”
Paul McCartney also revealed that he tried – unsuccessfully – to pen a song inspired by the protests borne out of the deaths of Garner and Michael Brown. “I thought it would be great to put something down about that, just to add my voice to the thousands of people walking in the streets,” the former Beatle said. “I thought it through, and it just didn’t come easily. I’m not giving up on it, but it didn’t come easily, whereas some other emotions might come easily to me.”
Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA also weighed in on the death of his fellow Staten Island native Garner. “We got the guy red-handed, in HD quality,” he argued. “And not just the one cop; all those cops should have been indicted. Those are the guys who give us the non-value of black life.”