Illinois Woman Paid $329 To Trademark Eric Garner’s Last Words: “I Can’t Breathe”

December 19, 2014  |  

The Smoking Gun reports, an Illinois woman seeks to trademark Eric Garner’s last dying words “I can’t breathe.” Garner, who was killed by NYPD police officer Daniel Pantaleo in July for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island corner, last words were (via CNN): “I’m minding my business, officer, I’m minding my business. Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone. please please, don’t touch me. Do not touch me….. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

The woman, 57-year-old Catherine Crump, applied to register the phrase for the use on clothing apparel on December 13 through the United States Patent and Trademark office. Crump revealed she has been using the “I can’t breathe” statement for merchandise purposes a month after Eric Garner’s death. In an interview. Crump says she is not related to Garner and did not reach out to the family about her merchandise or trademark bid. Although her trademark application cost $325, Crumb claims she will not make money off of the garments with the “I Can’t Breathe” statement. She also failed to disclosed how she will benefit from selling the merchandise.

Three other entrepreneurs have filed to trademark the “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” phrase on clothing items. Those applications were filed at United States Patent and Trademark within three weeks of unarmed college-bound teen Michael Brown’s death. Brown was also killed by a police officer. Some people feel Crump’s trademarking Garner’s last words is insensitive whereas others believe it can promote awareness about police brutality.


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