Protesters mark anniversary of Eric Garner's chokehold death
- New York 07/17/2015 (AP)

Protesters marked the anniversary of Eric Garner's chokehold death Friday with rallies and marches, echoing demonstrations just after his death that helped fuel a national conversation about policing.

"We're over-policed," said Alice Sturmsutter, who joined about 20 other activists in lower Manhattan as they boarded the Staten Island Ferry for a protest at the site where a police officer put Garner in a chokehold on July 17, 2014.

The protesters headed to the Staten Island sidewalk where officers confronted Garner, who was 43, because police believed he was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A video shot by an onlooker shows Garner, who was black, telling the officers to leave him alone and refusing to be handcuffed.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is white, placed his arm around Garner'sneck to take him down. Garner is heard gasping "I can't breathe!" 11 times before losing consciousness.

His death, coupled with police killings of unarmed black men elsewhere, spurred protests around the country about police treatment of black men.

Later Friday, some demonstrators roved through parts of Manhattan.

A gathering around Herald Square prompted a message from the city's public-notification system that the protests were intermittently closing streets. Police said some arrests made been made during the demonstrations, but the number of arrests and other details were still being gathered late Friday night.

The city medical examiner found the chokehold contributed to Garner'sdeath. Chokeholds are banned by New York Police Department policy, but Pantaleo has said that he used a legal takedown maneuver known as a seatbelt, not a chokehold.

A grand jury declined to indict him. A federal inquiry is ongoing.

Garner's family reached a $5.9 million settlement with New York City this week over the death.

Donna Shah, who was raised on Staten Island and now lives in Atlanta, joined the protest that headed to Staten Island Friday afternoon. She said she was glad to see a diverse group, including people of other nationalities, taking interest in the cause.

"It does show me that they care and that they want to do something," she said.