Good Law | Bad Law #151 - “I Can’t Breathe”: Truth and Accountability in the Eric Garner Case

Seeking justice, transparency and accountability in the tragic case of Eric Garner:

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Alvin Bragg, Gideon Oliver, and Monifa Bandele for a special conversation on police brutality, community safety, and the tragedy of Eric Garner’s death five years ago.

Alvin and Gideon are both attorneys for the Garner family and Monifa is a community activist heavily involved in the case, as well as one of the petitioners in the recent judicial inquiry brought by Alvin and Gideon, on behalf of the family.  Although the NYPD has fired Daniel Pantaleo, the police offer who placed a fatal chokehold on Eric Garner on July 17, 2014, so many questions, disturbing questions remain.  The judicial inquiry request, recently filed, seeks answers to those questions.

In today’s episode, Aaron, Alvin, Monifa and Gideon discuss the history of Eric Garner’s terrible and unnecessary death, what has happened since, and the broader implications this case and others like it have had and continue to have on our society. The conversation centers on the systemic issues that persist in our legal system and the flawed structure of our law enforcement institutions. What should be the model for community safety? Where should communities focus their resources? 

 Alvin Bragg is a visiting professor of law at New York Law School, Co-Director for the Racial Justice Project, and Co-Counsel for the Garner Family. Previously serving as Chief Deputy Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General and an federal prosecutor in New York as well, Alvin’s research focuses on the intersection of criminal law and civil rights, prosecutorial discretion and accountability, and the functions of state Attorneys General. 

Gideon Oliver manages his own firm, Gideon Law, and is Co-Counsel with Alvin for the Garner family. After receiving his B.A. in philosophy with a correlate in Women’s Studies from Vassar, Gideon graduated from Brooklyn Law School and began working as an associate in his father’s New York-based firm. Gideon has been a solo practitioner since 2009 and serves Of Counsel for several other firms. 

Monifa is Vice President and Chief Partnership and Equity Officer for MomsRising, an organization whose members aim to tackle the most critical issues facing women, mothers, and families by educating the public and mobilizing massive grassroots action. Monifa has more than a decade of experience in policy analysis, communications, civic engagement organizing, and project management. In addition to MomsRising, Monifa sits on the steering committee for Communities United for Police Reform and is an activist with the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

Listen in to learn more about our guests and their involvements in the Eric Garner case, and the legal actions they are taking in pursuit of the real truth about what happened to Eric Garner, justice, and accountability. This is a riveting conversation about an incredibly important topic. 


For more information on Alvin Bragg, visit his bio page here.

For more information on Gideon Oliver, visit his firm website here.

For more information on Monifa Bandele and MomsRising, please visit the organization’s website here.


Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guests: Monifa Bandele, Alvin Bragg, and Gideon Oliver