An Illinois woman has registered to trademark "I Can't Breathe," the last words of Eric Garner, the man who was placed into a fatal chokehold by an NYPD officer last summer. According to The Smoking Gun, 57-year-old Catherine Crump has petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the phrase "for use on hoodies and t-shirts for men, women, boys, girls, and infants."
That certainly sounds really ugly, with Crump trying to make a profit off of Garner's dying words, words that have become a rallying call at various police injustice marches and protests in recent weeks. But it gets worse:
In an interview, Crump said that she had “nothing to do with the Garner family,” and had not spoken to them about her trademark bid. While claiming that her purpose for marketing “I can’t breathe” garments was not to make money, she declined to disclose what other reason there was for her trademark filing (which cost $325).
Crump, who lives in Waukegan (about 40 miles north of Chicago), contends that she has been using “I can’t breathe” for commercial purposes since “at least as early” as August 18th, a month after Garner died.
The Daily News did a poll asking NYers whether they thought Officer Daniel Pantaleo should have been indicted by a grand jury for the chokehold death; voters gave an affirmative yes by a margin of nearly two to one.