Eric Gerner being held on the ground in an illegal chokehold
(Image by NYCLU) Permission Details DMCA
Reprinted from ms.clicks.actions.aclu.org
On the heels of the incendiary Michael Brown decision comes another get-out-of-prosecution-free unindictment (let alone trial or sentencing).
Make no mistake. See the photo above, from a bystander video. At least 4 cops subdued an unarmed man selling "loose cigarettes" illegally. The fourth cop may be a little hard to see - he's the one giving asthmatic Eric Garner an illegal chokehold from behind.
Says the NYCLU:
On July 17, Eric Garner, a black 43-year-old father of six and grandfather of two, died after NYPD officers held him in an illegal chokehold while Garner protested, "I can't breathe!" The tragedy was caught on video, and the medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide.
Today, the grand jury in Staten Island decided not to indict the NYPD officer involved.- Advertisement -
The failure of the grand jury to file an indictment in the killing of Eric Garner leaves New Yorkers with inescapable questions: How will the NYPD hold the officers involved accountable for his death? And what will Commissioner Bratton do to ensure that this is the last tragedy of its kind?
We need answers.
Join the NYCLU tomorrow, December 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Manhattan's Foley Square for a day of action to demand justice for Eric Garner and an end to discriminatory policing.- Advertisement -
We're in this together,
New York Civil Liberties Union
Details: Day of Action at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at Foley Square, Duane St. between Lafayette St. and Centre St. Closest trains 4/5/6 Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall; J/Z to Chambers, R to City Hall. Tweet this.
I really don't know under what circumstances a police officer WOULD be found liable for homicide (as ruled by the medical examiner). Obviously not for shooting an unarmed person (not necessarily even a suspect). Obviously not for choking someone to death who isn't even armed. Obviously not for a disproportionate number of police to suspect ratio (if 4 cops aren't enough, how many are? 5? 10? No, even swat teams are not necessarily responsible if they shoot and kill an innocent man or family).
I'm not saying the courts will NEVER indict a police officer for homicide against a civilian, but it's looking more the exception than the rule, and there is to this date, no national database of police homicides of civilians.
Keep in mind these are not exactly impartial prosecutions. The prosecutors work hand in glove with the police. As the New York Observer noted:
Most of New York City's Congressional delegation--with the sole exception of Staten Island Republican Michael Grimm--argued in August that Donovan, a member of the GOP, was too close to the police to conduct an impartial investigation and demanded the United States Attorney's office intervene.
At least our new Mayor de Blasio is cancelling an afternoon appointment to be with Garner's family: