Spike Lee on Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision
Earlier this year Spike Lee revisited a scene from his film “Do the Right Thing” by creating a mashup clip featuring character Radio Raheem choked to death by police and footage from Eric Garner’s officer-involved death. Lee’s scene, which was inspired by the 1983 death of New York graffiti artist Michael Stewart, not only caused the filmmaker to draw parallels between art imitating life, but also prompting him to protest for justice.
Last night following a grand jury’s decision not to indict police Daniel Pantaleo in Staten Island, New York for the homicide of Garner, Lee appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 where he shared his thoughts on losing hope for police relations in America.
“I keep hoping, but hope’s not working. It doesn’t look like hope has been a part of the grand jury in the last nine days in Ferguson and Staten Island,” Lee admitted to Cooper. “I have faith in [Attorney General] Eric Holder, and I think justice, in this case at least…because there’s evidence. There’s a 14-minute tape by Eric Garner’s friend, who spent a lot of that day with him. And I don’t know what the grand jury was looking at that they cannot bring a charge and the guy walks.”
The 57-year-old went on to reveal his experience joining a peaceful New York City protest following last week’s Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision.
“It was diverse New Yorkers. Black, white, brown, Asian all chanting ‘black lives matter,’” he recalled. “And a lot of young people…You know, young people in this generation gets a bad rap. They’re the ones that are leading this. So watching you inspired me to get out there with these young women and men and be a part of this.”