Any Truth In This “No True Bill”?

Ignoring that little voice in my head that’s nagging ,”It’s not worth it, go spend the hour playing Call Of Duty, it will be more productive”, I decided to weigh in with the Eric Gardner decision;

A grand jury voted Wednesday not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, multiple sources confirm.

Pantaleo put 47-year-old Garner into a chokehold during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes on July 17. In a viral video of the arrest, Garner can be seen screaming “I can’t breathe!” multiple times until his body goes limp. A medical examiner later ruled his death a homicide.

Chokeholds are banned by NYPD guidelines, and Garner’s death prompted large protests across the city.

For those that have not seen the video, here it is;

First off, this case is nothing like what we saw in Ferguson. Where I have tremendous sympathy for Darren Wilson and the way his whole life is now ruined (at least he is alive, unlike this cop who died under circumstances eerily similar), and contempt for low rent Michael Brown and his equally low rent parents, here, I do have sympathy for the victim and great suspicions regarding how the police handled this arrest.

Some would argue that this was a low priority beef, that the cops should be handling more important/higher priority crimes. As stated before, they do not get to pick and choose what laws they like and what laws they show “judicial discretion”, unlike our president, especially if they are called to the scene by a complainant (like this case). One can wonder if an arrest was even warranted here (there is a lapse in the video so any dialogue up to the actual arrest is speculation). But the manner of the arrest was clear from the video.

It is clear that the officer acted out of policy, chock holds are forbidden within the NYPD, any take down that puts pressure on the neck is forbidden, for obvious reasons. If in fact Gardner was resisting (which includes actions as innocuous as not complying with the orders of the officer) then why not just tase him? Grabbing him from behind by the neck and dragging him down puts you at risk (what happens if he falls on you, or pushes your head into the brick wall?), no, they handled it poorly. He wasn’t going anywhere, call for more back up, if none is available then take him down at a safe distance.

Granted, his 400lb’s of obese-ness and his asthma contributed to his death (given these conditions it is possible that a taser charge could have stopped his heart and killed him as well, but at least they would be acting within policy). There exists here a direct link between the chockhold and Gardner’s death.

Another cause of great concern (and one that will cost the city of NY millions at settlement)is the manner in which they did not render aid to a clearly distressed Gardner after the arrest. Each officer has a duty to render aid, especially once they arrested him and special relationship was established, but they did nothing, not good.

To be honest, I expected some indictment to follow, a lesser charge of negligent homicide. something that connected the dots between an officer acting out of policy and the death of a citizen.

And where I think the Brown family is deserving of nothing monetarily (maybe an indictment of inciting a riot for that lunatic step father), here I suspect big bucks will flow to the family of Eric Gardner. Where Michael Brown’s actions and demeanor (and to some extent his parents, who raised him this way) caused his own death, Gardner is a sympathetic figure who died way before his time.

I would hope that the offending chock holder at least gets fired, not holding my breath.

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000

    I’m wondering how this guy was still on the force. The city has previously paid out a $30k settlement for an incident in which he strip-searched two men in public.

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  2. AlexInCT

    Don’t you people know that if you deny “Da man” the man his lucre, you deserve death?

    Nothing pisses off totalitarian entities more than those not connected that have the gall to avoid ponying up the money of the people. Peons avoiding taxes is on par with premeditated murder.

    My guess is that the grand jury chose not to indict because the prosecutors only wanted murder charges, and a murder trial was not going to do anything but result in an acquittal. That’s because this was at best a case of involuntary manslaughter even if it is clearly abusive and excessive force.

    I hope there are some people that make a civil case and rake the NYC tax payer over the coals for this travesty. Pay up suckers.

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  3. richtaylor365 *

    Nothing pisses off totalitarian entities more than those not connected that have the gall to avoid ponying up the money of the people. Peons avoiding taxes is on par with premeditated murder.

    I get that you are trying to be flippant/ hyperbolic/ facetious or something, but let’s not lose sight of the facts; the store owner called the police because Gardner was harassing his customers while standing outside hawking his illegal smokes, customers complained to the owner and he subsequently called the cops. Would you have them answer the call with ,”What, are you nuts? We got felonies to worry about, we can’t be bothered with this penny ante misdemeanor shit, don’t call us again unless it’s important”?

    I have a big question about why they needed to arrest him in the first place. Misdemeanor beefs can be handled with a cite and release. No doubt the GJ explored this thoroughly and was satisfied that the arrest was warranted, but I would like to know.

    The subsequent autopsy revealed that Gardner died of heart failure, no doubt related to his weight and physical condition, no trauma of any kind was found on the neck area or windpipe.

    But even though the choke hold did not kill him, it was used in the take down that did kill him, a clear example of negligence in it’s application.

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  4. AlexInCT

    I get that you are trying to be flippant/ hyperbolic/ facetious or something, but let’s not lose sight of the facts; the store owner called the police because Gardner was harassing his customers while standing outside hawking his illegal smokes, customers complained to the owner and he subsequently called the cops. Would you have them answer the call with ,”What, are you nuts? We got felonies to worry about, we can’t be bothered with this penny ante misdemeanor shit, don’t call us again unless it’s important”?

    Actually Rich my point was that despite the fact that I find smoking to be nothing but habit with all sorts of health related consequences, I dislike the fact government is using it as a means to rip people off with insane taxes even more, and I would like these laws to be done away with. Let people make their choices and suffer the consequences of them (just like the guy selling the cigarettes, the idiot in Ferguson that charged the cop, or that kid that was killed by the white Hispanic in Florida did) and have the government butt the fuck out. No puns intended since we are talking about cigarettes here. We shit like this happening because we don’t think the consequences of laws through, and have to many inane and stupid ones. From this article;

    On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce. Usually they greet this advice with something between skepticism and puzzlement, until I remind them that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you.

    I wish this caution were only theoretical. It isn’t. Whatever your view on the refusal of a New York City grand jury to indict the police officer whose chokehold apparently led to the death of Eric Garner, it’s useful to remember the crime that Garner is alleged to have committed: He was selling individual cigarettes, or loosies, in violation of New York law.

    The obvious racial dynamics of the case — the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, is white; Garner was black — have sparked understandable outrage. But, at least among libertarians, so has the law that was being enforced. Wrote Nick Gillespie in the Daily Beast, “Clearly something has gone horribly wrong when a man lies dead after being confronted for selling cigarettes to willing buyers.” Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, appearing on MSNBC, also blamed the statute: “Some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so they’ve driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive.”

    The problem is actually broader. It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the death of those the police seek to arrest. It’s every law. Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right. I often tell my students that there will never be a perfect technology of law enforcement, and therefore it is unavoidable that there will be situations where police err on the side of too much violence rather than too little. Better training won’t lead to perfection. But fewer laws would mean fewer opportunities for official violence to get out of hand.

    I can’t agree more with what this guy says. Our government, be it at the federal or state level, is out of control, and we need a reset of these isiotic laws and the consequences they create. There is a direct correlation between the all powerful nanny state and the increased use of force by the state’s agents (police), and we should be focusing on that and not the current bullshit race red herring.

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