I wanted to post about video games and music today, but this Eric Garner story is just sad and depressing.
Watching the whole video of the incident, I’m leaning more and more to the position that Eric Garner was killed by NY cops for no good reason. This is the opposite of the Michael Brown case in almost every way that I can see. Maybe more facts will come out, but this man was not aggressively resisting arrest, he had his hands in the air while the cop put him in a choke hold, said several times in a choked voice that he couldn’t breathe, and then I assume passed out, went into cardiac arrest, and died. Tragic and senseless. The cops who did this and the NYPD need to be held responsible.
I wanted to respond to the many arguments defending the NY police officers and how they behaved in this case that I’m getting on Facebook and that I’m seeing on message boards.
A. Eric Garner was not violently resisting arrest. The amount of excessive force the officers used was completely inconsistent with the amount of resistance Garner was offering. All he did was pull his hands away when they tried to grab him by the wrists and said ‘Don’t touch me’. He wasn’t violent, he wasn’t a threat to the officers, to himself, or to anyone else. The cops completely overreacted and killed him as a direct result of the choke hold and pinning him down on the ground. Garner went down pretty quickly after the choke hold was applied. At that point, there was pretty much zero resistance. In fact, as soon as the cop put his forearm around his throat, Garner’s hands went up in the air.
B. When someone says they can’t breathe, it doesn’t necessarily mean all oxygen flow is being cut off, like they’re swimming underwater. Obviously, he could draw enough breath to get the words ‘I can’t breathe’ out, but not enough to retain consciousness from the choke hold and the cops pressing down on his chest. Which, again, he ended up dying from after going into cardiac arrest.
C. His medical issues aren’t what killed him. The medical examiner’s report states that he died as a direct result of pressure on his throat and chest. In fact, the medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide. If those cops hadn’t confronted him, I somehow don’t think Garner was in any danger of suddenly collapsing as a result of his medical issues. He died as a direct result of what those cops did to him. And they should be held responsible. Saying sorry and that you feel real bad about it isn’t enough. Because I guarantee Garner’s family feels way, way worse than that cop ever will.
If black Americans want to protest police discrimination and abuse toward blacks, THIS is the case they should be using as their rallying cry, not the Michael Brown case. If they do, they will find they a lot less blowback and a lot more support from non-blacks.