Call to action in Niagara Falls after Garner, Brown deaths

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter” are now familiar chants shouted by protestors across the country.

Monday night, protestors in Niagara Falls joined that chorus.

The police shootings that left Eric Garner dead in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri have struck a chord in black communities.

Pastor Craig Pridgen of the True Bethel Baptist Church in Niagara Falls, said, “It’s important that we as a community pull together during times like this to show support for one another to show love for one another.”

In both cases, the officers were not indicted by a grand jury, which has heightened already intense emotions.

Because of those emotions, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says things in New York need to be done differently.

He says the public doesn’t trust local D.A.’s to be unbiased toward the police departments they work with every day.

Schneiderman said, “As prosecutors, it’s time to acknowledge that the public has lost confidence in this part of our criminal justice system.”

Schneiderman wants his office involved any time an unarmed citizen is killed in police custody.

He’s asking the governor for an executive order.

He explained, “The crisis of confidence in our communities is real, it is powerful, and it carries an imminent risk of danger. When the trust between the police and the communities they serve and protect breaks down, everyone is at risk.”

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