An Illinois Woman Is Trying to Trademark Eric Garner’s Last Words

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Staten islandnew york, United States. 19th July 2014 -- Memorial for Staten Island resident Eric Garner, who was killed by an undercover police officer who put him in an illegal choke hold during an arrest for taxes on five packs of cigarettes he had sold. -- Rally for Staten Island resident Eric Garner, who was killed by an undercover police officer who put him in an illegal choke hold during an arrest for taxes on five packs of cigarettes he had sold.
Photo: Nancy Siesel / Demotix/Copyright 2014 Demotix, all rights reserved.

On December 13, a woman in Illinois petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to grant her a trademark for the phrase “I can’t breathe,” the famous last words of NYPD chokehold victim Eric Garner that have become a rallying cry for anti-police-brutality protesters across the nation. Fifty-seven-year-old Catherine Crump wants to trademark the phrase so she can sell clothing garments emblazoned with it, reports the Smoking Gun.

Crump claims she’s not applying for the trademark to make money, but wouldn’t provide any other explanation for her actions. And in case you think Crump is uniquely terrible, TSG also writes that three separate people filed for trademark status on “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” within three weeks of Michael Brown’s death. America, the land of opportunity!