Pundits Blame Eric Garner For His Own Death (TYT Medley of Shame)

Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks | —

“The death of Staten Island man Eric Garner after New York police Officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a banned choke hold horrified civil rights advocates nationwide. When a grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo earlier this week, despite video evidence clearly showing that his actions led to Garner’s death, even pro-police conservatives like House Majority Leader John Boehner acknowledged that the incident raises serious questions about whether police violated Garner’s civil rights.

That should be a relief to anti-police violence activists, who might actually see some major progress emerge from this latest abuse of police power. But not everyone was willing to admit that Garner’s death pointed to larger problems in the New York Police Department — or hijacked the incident to push their own agenda. Here’s seven of the worst reactions from right-wing politicians and pundits over Garner’s death:”* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.”

The Young Turks: “Pundits Blame Eric Garner For His Own Death”

6 Responses

  1. If somebody questions the police in a confrontation/stop, the current law enforcement culture is that the person questioning the authority can be subdued – or even killed – with no negative repercussions to the police. The boiler plate argument that exonerates the police is that they were protecting themselves or the community from a potential threat.

    The only thing that will stop police from overreacting (as they definitely did in the Garner case) is to put them in jail. The problem is – is that the prosecutors who work with the police on a daily basis sympathize with them and manipulate the process so that nothing happens. Meanwhile, the citizenry recognizes the injustice of seeing the process being manipulated, and trust erodes in the entire justice system.

    A solution to this is to set up regional grievance boards whose main purpose is to hunt down and imprison (as aggressively as the current criminal justice system does now with people who break the law) police who overstep their bounds. In other words, it’s this special prosecutor’s job to aggressively pursue the police. Maybe even have these special prosecutors be elected officials so they can be be judged on how many police they discipline. There will be mistakes made and some innocent police will be jailed, but that statement is true of our current criminal justice system, too. If the police don’t like it, then quit. Go work in the public sector. It’s a decent paying job and we’ll get people to agree to those terms.

    I don’t expect this to happen – but it’s a solution. We have to stop being ‘beholden’ to police departments because they protect us from dangerous people. They are just as dangerous.

    • We might have to go further than this and reimagine the meaning of a police “force”. Maybe each neighborhood will have to create its own squad from residents and be responsible for its actions. Maybe since our cities are already saturated with surveillance cameras we will volunteer or rotate the duty of monitoring them. Maybe drones equipped with nonlethal weapons will approach suspects and corral them until a force of (camera-equipped) officers can assess the genuine danger and carry out the arrest.

      But the problem is bigger than the police; the same sense of paranoid entitlement justifies the bombing of villages overseas, and Zimmerman’s color-coded vigilantism. It is the paranoia of a comfortable master race whose order is under siege at home and abroad from a genuine increase in lethality in the hands of the Others. The police and army are an extension of that.

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