Apple Store ‘die-in’ sends message to ‘capitalist America’ about police violence

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Protesters upset with the Eric Garner grand jury decision descend upon the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York. Photo: MSNBC
Protesters upset with the Eric Garner grand jury decision descend upon the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York. Photo: MSNBC

Protesters streamed into an Apple Store in New York City on Friday to stage a “die-in” and call attention to a man who died at the hands of a police officer.

The peaceful Apple Store invasion came on the third night of protests after a grand jury failed to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man who was stopped on the street for selling cigarettes. Garner, who was asthmatic, died after Officer Daniel Pantaleo applied an apparent choke-hold.

The dying man’s cries of “I can’t breathe” have become watch words of a growing protest movement to address perceived injustices when black men encounter white police.

Inside the store, protesters — some carrying selfie sticks, bullhorns and coffee cups — chanted slogans and sprawled out on the floor to feign death. Many posted photos of the protest on Twitter.

Brooklyn protester Zandir Santos, 30, said Apple was targeted along with other high-profile stores to send a message to corporate America.

“The CEO of Apple knows we shut his store down — that means capitalist America is going to take us seriously,” he told USA Today. “We are going to shake up your business and we want to hit you where it hurts.”

Aside from the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, protesters on Friday also hit Macy’s Herald Square store (just as they did on Black Friday to call attention to a similar grand jury ruling in Ferguson, Missouri).

At the Apple Store, protester Chernell Brown laid on the floor in to call attention to the Ferguson case, in which Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was shot to death by a police officer after resisting arrest.

“This is our house,” said Chernell Brown, according to USA Today. “No more business as usual. Revolution is not comfortable.”