Speed Reads

Eric Garner

Yale librarian names 'I can't breathe' quote of the year

The phrase "I can't breathe" is everywhere as 2014 winds down. The line was Eric Garner's last words, which he uttered as a Staten Island cop held him in a chokehold. Now protestors nationwide chant it and athletes warm-up in T-shirts bearing the quote.

The line resonated with Yale Law Library associate director Fred Shapiro, who made a last-minute revision to his 2014 list of notable quotes, The Washington Post reports.

After the Staten Island grand jury announced Dec. 3 it will not indict the officer involved, Shapiro expected Garner's words would have a lasting impact. So far, Google Trends and Twitter back up his logic.

Shapiro also included the common refrain from Ferguson protests — "Hands up! Don't Shoot!" — on his list.