Grand Jury Decision: No Justice for Eric Garner
A grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo,29, or any other officers involved in the choking death of Eric Garner,43, who was accosted by police officers for selling loose untaxed cigarettes.
This decision was made despite the video evidence that was presented to the grand jury. The video depicts Garner, who is being non compliant and asking to be “left alone” in an nonthreatening manner, being brought to the ground and placed in a choke hold by Officer Pantaleo while the other officers add pressure to his body and maintaining it once he is on the ground. Garner can be heard saying “i cant breath” but his cries go unanswered and eventually Garner goes silent as he slips into unconsciousness.
The grand jury was also presented with evidence from the medical examiner who ruled Garners death a homicide.Medical examiner spokesperson Julie Bolcer said Garner was killed by, “The compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”
The choke hold that killed Garner is banned under NYPD rules.
Police officials argued that Garners death was caused by his own health issues, which is contrary to what the trained medical examiner had stated in their findings.
Since the incident Officer Pantaleo has been stripped of his badge and his gun, and has been placed on modified duty.
While Pantaleo cannot return to his job, a father of six will not be returning home to his children.
Recent events like shooting of Michael Brown and that grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the shooting of 12 year old Tamir Rice, and now the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Pantaleo has set tensions between the black community and police officers as well as the justice system at an all time high.
The decision left many outraged and New York City took to the streets, marching in opposition to the decision. Many protestors are brandishing sings, shirts, and masks that read “I Cant Breath.” The media world has also been flooded with posts saying “I Cant Breath”, all in protest of Garners murders.
Many roll their eyes and say “its not always about race.” That may be easy for some to say, but the person who was raised by a parent who knew all to well the burden of racism, by a grandparent who marched, by the pictures of black bodies strung up on trees they would know that racism is still alive. And while everything cannot be attributed to race we must accept the fact that it does matter, and that it can determine where you live, how you live, and if you live at all.
To save ourselves we must always remember to keep it lite, stay calm,and if asked place your hands behind your back, because they shoot and make us the monster later.