Spike Lee video mash-up draws link between ‘Do The Right Thing’ and NYPD choking death
Director Spike Lee published a video online on Monday highlighting the link between the death of 43-year-old Eric Garner and the police violence that fueled a climactic scene in his film Do The Right Thing 25 years ago.
Salon reported that the video, posted to Lee’s YouTube account, shows footage of Garner being put in a chokehold — a violation of NYPD policy — while being stopped for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes mixed in with the movie’s scene where Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) is choked from behind and killed by officers.
The death of the Raheem character was inspired by the death of Michael Stewart, a New York City grafitti artist who also died in a similar fashion during an incident involving police in 1983.
Reuters reported on Sunday that four medical emergency workers present at the time of Garner’s death were suspended in connection with the incident. The officer who put Garner in the chokehold, identified as Daniel Pantaleo, has been put on “modified assignment” pending an internal investigation. The cause of Garner’s death has not been confirmed.
Watch Lee’s video mash-up, as posted online on Monday, below.