Lancman To Host Screening of Eric Garner Documentary at Queens Library

By Jonathan Sperling

 Caption: Flyer for film screening of “By Any Means Necessary” hosted by Councilmember Rory Lancman. Photo courtesy of Councilmember Lancman’s office

Caption: Flyer for film screening of “By Any Means Necessary” hosted by Councilmember Rory Lancman. Photo courtesy of Councilmember Lancman’s office

A free screening of a documentary focusing on police department’s use of force and centered around the death of Eric Garner is expected to show at a Jamaica library on Thursday.

Hosted by Councilmember Rory Lancman of District 24, a free film screening of “By Any Means Necessary,” will show on Oct. 18 at the Central Library Auditorium at the Queens Library at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica at 6 p.m.

Lancman, who is a candidate for Queens County District Attorney, has sponsored legislation in the City Council that would make it a crime for a police officer to perform a chokehold on a suspect.

In July 2014, Garner was accused of illegally selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island when Officer Daniel Panteleo placed the suspect in an apparent chokehold. Garner, 43, was heard on two cell phone video captured by bystanders saying he could not breath as Panteleo took him down to the sidewalk. Garner died and no officers were charged.

“Police chokeholds are already banned under NYPD rules, but the senseless death of Eric Garner made clear that these guidelines are not working to deter use of this dangerous maneuver,” said Lancman in a statement to the Eagle.

“Police chokeholds will not stop unless there is true accountability and transparency, which can only be accomplished through legislation,” said Lancman in another statement posted on his website. “It is time to pass the chokehold bill, and for the Mayor to commit to sign it.”

After the documentary, the film’s first-time director and producer, Damian Kudelka, will join Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, and individuals featured in the documentary in a panel discussion on policing practices, police reform and use of force.

"It is my hope that this documentary will enable people to better understand the problem of police chokeholds and demand policies that will prevent tragedies from happening again," said Lancman.