It was hard to miss Eric Garner. He was 6-4 and between 350 and 400 pounds. He was hard to miss, but easy to kill.
Garner was protesting a NYPD officer’s attempt to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes. Several cops wrestled the father of six to the sidewalk as he yelled, “‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe! Get off of me, get off of me.” Sgt. Daniel Pantelo applied an illegal choke hold on Garner who apparently suffered a heart attack and died. The event was captured on video as the cops angrily ordered a man recording the assault on Garner to step away.
To serve and protect, huh? Who protected Eric Garner from the NYPD.
I’m sure some apologist for the cops will say this was all Eric Garner’s fault. He had no business being a 400 lb diabetic with chronic asthma and resisting the po-po.
But mostly he had no damn business being so Black. That’s always a crime.
This story will fade from the headlines. My attention to it will not. I will await to see how justice handles a gross injustice. On social media I’ve seen talk that Garner’s killing is simply another manifestation of life and death under the oppressive boot of an aggressive, militaristic police force that acts as an occupying force to keep the niggers, spics and poor White trash in their proper places. Well, there may be some truth to that, but let me say this about the talk of Americans living in a “police state.”
The NYPD has a long and troubling history of police brutality, but there is a difference between police “brutality” and living in a police “state.”
In a true police state, Eric Garner would never be stopped by the authorities, accused of selling illegal cigarettes and die as an officer executes an illegal choke hold and executes him on the spot.
In a true police state, Mr. Garner would not be allowed out on the streets to freely roam as he likes. He would be stopped, compelled to produce his identification, state his business, and suffer detainment and incarceration should the authorities dislike his response.
This is not the reality of the situation. The reality is Black men being belligerent with White cops never ends well and when you’re big and scary-looking on top of being Black that simply compounds the drama.
People are looking for a devious, Machiavellian explanation for the sorry fate of Eric Garner when the age-old, obvious one explains it well enough
This is not a police state.
Unless these cops walk.
As they walked for Clifford Glover.
As they walked for Randolph Evans.
As they walked for Patrick Dorismond.
As they walked for Eleanor Bumpurs.
As they walked for Anthony Baez.
As they walked for Sean Bell.
As they walked for Amadou “41 Shots” Diallo.
THEN it’s a police state.