Thursday, December 04, 2014

The lonesome death of Eric Garner ~ By Harry Siegel

Anyone unsure why so many people of color are upset with the police, and suspicious of the American justice system, put your politics down, open your eyes and watch the videos.

There’s more to be said on another day about broken-windows policing. Garner was known to cops for selling loose cigarettes, though he wasn’t doing that when he was arrested and killed(My comment: That statement may require some research, as I have heard information that contradicts that.)

There is more to be said another day about the dishonesty or intellectual confusion of those activists, protesters and politicians who appear to view cops as the only real criminals.

But fear of police and lost faith in justice are real, corrosive forces. That fear makes decent people of color feel that society places a lower value on their lives. It makes parents and their children fear the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. Good policing demands community buy-in, so perception itself matters.
I did not post this story because I agree with Harry. He may have made some good points that we can contemplate on as long as there are still legs on this news event, but as to him trying to supplant some kind of racial incident as being the ONLY or MAIN ingredient in the death of Eric Garner, he is totally incorrect.

So, the primary subject of the story, Mr. Eric Garner, happened to be African-American. But, does that necessarily mean that the treatment that he received had anything to do with race? Of course it may have played a part, but it's very unrealistic for anyone to believe that was the primary catalyst for the tragedy that happened on the New York streets, or in the Grand Jury. There are other issues.

Perhaps Mr. Garner was trying to help support his family by a little entrepreneurship because of a lack of good employment opportunities. (Hmm, that CAN happen with a rap sheet showing 31 arrests.) Or, maybe it is the fact that the excessive taxes collected on cigarettes by the government entities - city, state, and federal - made his trade a profitable enterprise, and thus, worth the risk of breaking laws. And it wasn't like he was selling heroin or cocaine.

As Rand Paul suggested last night, perhaps politicians that wrote those laws also directed the enforcement of them, as Governor Cuomo (D-NY) did by setting up a STRIKE force to go after those on the street selling "loosies" (individual cigarettes bought in states or Indian Reservations that charge less or no taxes) - just because the government entities were losing the lucrative tax revenues from those of us with the nicotine addiction.

While I agree with Harry Siegel that the police may have used excessive force to subdue Eric Garner in an attempt to arrest him, I think that Siegel is too much like the usual suspects that are trying to make it all about race! Perhaps the biggest disgust we should all have, as Americans, is that the government may be trying to gain too much power and using the police in ways that affect ALL of our civil liberties. Just sayin'...

The lonesome death of Eric Garner
When men are treated like pieces of meat by cops and medics, trust erodes
By Harry Siegel

Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 6:36 PM


It’s the second Eric Garner video that made me cry.

Not the one where Officer Daniel Pantaleo chokes Garner for 15 seconds before smashing his head into the sidewalk for 10 seconds as other cops hold down and cuff Garner, ignoring the pleas he issued with the last air in his lungs:

I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

It’s the video shot minutes later as Garner lies dying among men and women in uniforms, men and women who seemed not to give half a damn, that broke me down. Here’s the scene:

~~~ From New York Daily News ~~~

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