New York Daily News
(image by NY Daily News)
All reports speak of Eric Garner as being a gentle soul. Someone who always had a smile for people walking by. It is possible that he may have been involved however in a most nefarious crime. Selling untaxed cigarettes. He paid for that crime with his life Saturday. His life was taken from him by an aggressive police force that did not seem to care that they were killing him. The police tried to float some nonsense about Garner taking a fighting stance and becoming irate but then the video surfaced:
Dismissing those that might base their opinions strictly on race the only people who can have the nerve to defend this are those associated with law enforcement. Let's be honest, this is state sanctioned murder. If you or I did this we would be facing murder charges. Those that are entrusted with defending our laws should not be above them. The cop who applied what the department already admits looks like an illegal choke hold and then drove his knee into the head of the victim deserves to be brought up on criminal charges. The remaining officers should lose their jobs because they did not do their jobs. Instead they all assisted or stood by doing nothing while their colleagues killed this unarmed man. Here is a new video that has surfaced revealing what they did while waiting for EMS. While the man was dying. Notice the laughing and jovial attitude by many of the police, including the one who drove his head into the concrete.
Even the defense by those associated with the force only reinforces the fact that they have no soul. This is simply indefensible. I have heard the arguments already through social media. Let's go through them one by one:
1) He resisted arrest - when I watch that video I do not see someone resisting arrest. I see someone dumbfounded as to why he was being arrested. I see him throw his hands up when the cops started pawing at him. If this is resisting arrest then no one is safe. But even if you truly believe he was resisting arrest - is that a crime punishable by death? The way I hear the defenders state it they think that resisting arrest is a "get away murder free" card. We try and talk about excessive force - he was resisting! We try and talk about using a choke hold - he was resisting! I am sorry but resisting arrest is not a carte blanche to do whatever you want to the suspect - who I might add is still innocent in the eyes of the law.
2) He was overweight - one of the more despicable defenses is to blame the corpse when he can no longer defend himself. That it was his weight or his asthma that really killed him and not the choke hold or knee to the back of the neck while he is screaming that he cannot breathe. In fact, the state of health of the victim should be taken into consideration by the arresting officers not used as a defense for killing him.
3) You don't know what it is like - you are right. I do not. Do you know why? I chose to not be a policeman. But the murderers in this video did choose to be policemen so they need to be judged as such. While we are at it I do not need to know how dangerous their job is. They chose the job. The cops here knew Mr. Garner as they had arrested him several times before. This was not an unknown situation with an unknown person. But even if it was that is still no excuse. I have heard the defense that the cops just wanted to make sure they go home to their families and therein lies the problem. Fifty years ago cops served the public. They knew that they died before we died. Today it is the reverse. They act like Sean Connery in the Untouchables - at the end of your shift make sure you go home alive. Combine that with the reverse philosophy of everyone is guilty until proven innocent and it is no wonder that Eric Garner does not get to go home to his family and his six children tonight.
I find it almost comical if it were not so sad when I hear police complain that they are not respected. This is why they are not respected. Not even so much that Eric Garner is dead. Mistakes happen and we are a forgiving society. No, the problem is the defending of it. The rubbing salt in the wounds of someone who is already dead. It is like when the Giuliani administration released the juvenile criminal records of Patrick Dorismond after they killed him. When the mayor was asked why he did so when it was illegal he said the law only applies to those who are alive. It is like when everyone tried to defend the assassination of Amadou Diallo for having the temerity to reach for his keys in the vestibule of his own house. It is like when the teachers union stands by their worst teachers. The police lose respect because they defend the indefensible. If you watch these videos and think that there was justification I worry for the state of your soul and I pray the police never get a bad read on your intentions.