I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street

10 CDs. 13 hrs. Books on Tape. Oct. 2017. ISBN 9780735288157. $45. digital download. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarThat moment on July 17, 2014, when Eric Garner uttered his last words, "I can't breathe"—now a rallying cry for the "Black Lives Matter" movement—was a convergence of years of social, political, and racial injustice, according to Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap). Here Taibbi dives deep into who Garner was and how he wound up on a Staten Island sidewalk selling bootleg cigarettes. In telling Garner's story through the eyes of people connected to him, Taibbi lays down the backdrop that led to Garner's arrest and the police choke hold caught on video for millions to see. The New York Police Department's aggressive stop-and- frisk policies, the emphasis on crime statistics and belief in the "broken windows theory," which focused on policing minor offenses in order to prevent serious and violent crimes, played a part in the events of that day, Taibbi writes. Dominic Hoffman's flowing narration and vocal characterization of the dialog in Taibbi's vignettes illuminate Garner's story.
VERDICT This powerful, eye-opening work goes beyond the headlines of an arrest that helped ignite a national protest movement against police brutality and injustice. Hoffman's narration carries the message convincingly throughout. ["An insightful, important account for all readers": LJ 10/1/17 review of the Spiegel & Grau hc.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing