OK, I know the title sounds like nasty rhetoric, but it has happened again, and this time there’s video to prove the cop broke the law.
Last July, Eric Garner was selling loose cigarettes near the ferry terminal in Staten Island, NY. Video shows police approach and wrestle him to the ground. In the video, the person behind the camera says Garner had just broken up a fight.
Whatever the reason for the police being there, Garner resists being put in handcuffs, so several officers tackle him. One officer has him in a chokehold and later has his knee on Garner’s head to keep it on the ground.
Repeatedly, you can hear Garner croak, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!”
The officer ignores his pleas and continues to keep him in the illegal chokehold.
I watched the video. It’s disturbing as hell.
The coroner ruled the death a homicide, but the Grand Jury decided there wasn’t enough evidence to indict – even though the video clearly shows the officer in violation of the law.
Garner was unarmed, by the way. The officers were never in any danger from him.
Garner had asthma and other medical problems. He weighed about 400 pounds. He was in violation of the law when he sold loose cigarettes, but he was not dangerous when police tackled him. He denied he was doing anything wrong and police just got rougher. He was obviously frightened of being put in handcuffs.
So, what happened is that Eric Garner got the death penalty for selling loose cigarettes near the Staten Island Ferry terminal.
The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, has been stripped of his badge and gun. He may lose his job. That’s hardly payment for causing the death of a human being.
Go ahead and call me racist for saying I don’t think it would have happened to a white man, but I really don’t think it would have.
New York is the home of stop and frisk and the vast majority of people who get stopped are non-white.
Now we have another unarmed black man killed, and no one will have to answer for the crime.
Let’s face it, the system is broken. This isn’t justice. Something has to change.