‘I can’t breathe’ is tied to a long history of Black asphyxiation

Neville’s experience mirrors those of many African Americans, including George Floyd and Eric Garner — both of whom uttered the phrase “I can’t breathe” before their deaths.

In recent years, the phrase has become associated with police violence and it is now a rallying cry among Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists. Across the nation, activists are carrying signs and chanting “I can’t breathe” in an effort to bring greater attention to police violence and brutality and the…

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