The controversial "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts have some competition. Some pretty offensive competition.
In honor of Eric Garner, the Staten Island father of six who was killed after a plain clothed police officer placed him in an illegal chokehold, "I Can't Breathe" became something of a rallying cry not only across America, but across the world. But now, Corporal Jason Barthel, an Indiana police officer is selling his own shirt with the words, "Breathe easy. Don't break the law."
No surprise, many people are extremely offended
Barthel responded to critics on the South Bend Uniform Company Facebook page, posting, "For those upset, please understand when we use the slogan 'Breathe Easy' we are referring to knowing the police are there for you! We are one people, one nation regardless of race, religion, creed or gender. We are all in this together."
As Vox reports, the Indiana police officer also says the "I Can't Breathe" shirts are "confrontational" where his T-shirt is meant to unite. Frankly, Barthel's T-shirt is more likely to "unite" people like the thousands of New York City protesters who marched through the city last week in support of Garner.
Barthel also claims his shirt is not meant to slam Garner, but how could it not? Garner was suspected of breaking the law by selling bootleg cigarettes and his last words before dying were "I can't breathe." Barthel's T-shirt tells us we can "breathe easy" just so long as we don't commit any crime, even non-violent ones.