If the situation wasn’t so serious then all you could do is shake your head and laugh…
America’s notion of fairness, equality and plain common sense received yet another setback after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to proceed with the indictment of Daniel Pantaleo, the officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner. America faces more anxious, tense nights in major cities as thousands hit the streets to protest yet another miscarriage of justice.
Garner died on July 17, 2014, after being placed in a chokehold by Officer Pantaleo in an unwarranted and unprovoked attack in broad daylight on a busy NY sidewalk. Use of chokeholds is not illegal but prohibited by the NYPD. Garner was under suspicion of selling unlicensed cigarettes after breaking up a large altercation between another group of men.
Even after Garner’s protestations, his simple desire to be let alone and not placed under suspicion without due cause, Officer Pantaleo ‘subdued’ Garner with the dangerous maneuver. Despite the overweight and asthmatic Garner shouting “I can’t breathe!” NINE TIMES, more officers pile on top to stop the obvious danger an unarmed man face down on the floor with respiratory problems would pose to you. Garner’s head was also pushed into the concrete and held in place.
The full video of the incident is below but contains distressing images:
Officer Pantaleo will not be indicted by the Staten Island grand jury EVEN THOUGH the NY Medical Examiner’s Office declared the death a homicide on August 1st. It’s taken a little over four months to deal with that verdict and still rule Officer Pantaleo clear of any charges or responsibility.
The last ten days, with the decision from St Louis’ grand jury in the killing of Michael Brown, has opened many people’s eyes open to the fact that the US justice system is not color-blind. It does discriminate. It has today and it will again.
Protests and ‘die-ins’, where protestors lay prone on the ground for a set amount of time, took place in NYC and other major cities in the immediate aftermath of the decision. Times Square was brought to a standstill. In a parallel universe this would be a defining moment, but for the USA, this is becoming a weekly occurrence.
People… how much more of this can we take? The authorities, sworn in to “serve and protect” us, are flinging the idea of fairness and normality back in our faces. They are laughing at us.
Ask yourself this: how much further do we have to go before the real tipping point is finally reached? Are we scared to find out what would really happen if the crowds swell and consume the barriers in front of us?
The authorities won’t change. The law won’t change. You won’t be listened to. The USA faces an even more uncertain future, one even darker than 10 days ago. Black, white, man, woman… it’s bad enough that it still matters. It is worse that Lady Justice is blinded by it too.