Upstanding Human Wants To Trademark “I Can’t Breathe” For Commercial Purposes

According to a report from The Smoking Gun, one Catherine L. Crump, 57, of Waukegan, Illinois has attempted to file a trademark on the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the purposes of selling “hoodies and T-shirts for men, women, boys, girls, and infants” with the phrase printed on them. “I Can’t Breathe” of course, are the last words uttered by Eric Garner before he was killed by Police Officer Daniel Pantaleon. The phrase has become a rallying cry against the use of force and the killings of unarmed black men by police officers.

Crump, who may or may not be a villain from a Roald Dahl book-hell bent on causing misery to all the children of the land, says she has no connection with the Garner family and did not attempt to check in with them before filing the patent. She told The Smoking Gun that she is not filing the trademark for the purposes of making money off of Garner’s tragic death. However, she declined to reveal what other reason should could possibly have for spending $325 on filing a trademark for the use of a phrase on clothing items, which one plans to sell.

I get that this is America and everyone is out for themselves, and everyone wants to make money. But there are other ways. Eric Garner’s death should not be a money-making opportunity for some random lady in Illinois. That’s gross.

Surprisingly or unsurprisingly–depending on how much faith you have left in humanity–three other enterprising individuals attempted to trademark the phrase “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” in the weeks following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. [The Smoking Gun]