Another Grand Jury Gets It Right

You heard me correctly. Ace must have read my mind. From “So Like Everyone On the Right is Now Outraged by the Garner Death Just Like They Were Outrage by the “Militarization of Police” in Ferguson:

Did Eric Garner deserve to die? No. The crime that began all this was selling “Loosies,” single cigarettes out of the pack, in defiance of the state tobacco tax laws and all the other nonsense laws they throw on people about only selling things in their original packaging. Minor shit. Nonsense.

And yet, he defied police orders when they attempted to arrest them. When they tried to cuff him, he defied them again, pulling his arms away. He decided, as a Jury of One, that the law was silly and he would not be being arrested today.

I can’t entirely blame him for feeling that way, but I know that if the police attempt to arrest you for a law which you are in fact breaking, even if you think it’s a minor harassing sort of law, you do not have the right to resist arrest.

What followed is what follows in all resisting-arrest cases: some escalating violence as the police attempt to physically impose their will on the noncompliant suspect.

Some number of such situations will result in the death of the suspect.

I guess I just don’t understand how we say this guy is guilty of manslaughter, given that in almost all cases where a guy’s heart just gives out in a struggle, we could find some error in procedure as a hook to throw the guy in jail for.

Guess what happens when you refuse to sign a ticket?

You get ARRESTED!!

Guess what happens when you resist arrest?

The cops use FORCE to subdue you.

The cops could have tasered Garner. They could have hit him with pepper spray. They didn’t do either of those things. They waited until they had sufficient numbers and tried to swarm him. During the takedown one officer grabbed Garner around the neck in a rear headlock (NOT A CHOKEHOLD).

For reasons that are not clear, some big guys like Garner go into cardiac/respiratory arrest and die when tackled and handcuffed. But the cops weren’t trying to kill him. That makes his death accidental.

But what about the chokehold that wasn’t a chokehold? Wasn’t it illegal?

No, it wasn’t illegal. Chokeholds are prohibited by NYPD policy. Cops who violate policy can be disciplined or fired, but that doesn’t mean they committed a crime. And while all murders are homicides, not all homicides are murders.

The issue here is not whether should have been arresting Garner in the first place. It is not disputed that was breaking the law. Cops are supposed to enforce all the laws, not just the serious ones. If the State of New York doesn’t want cops arresting people for minor offenses they need to change the law.

The issue is whether the cops used reasonable force to overcome resistance in order to make an arrest. Based on that video I would say that they did. They weren’t trying to hurt Garner, just subdue him. Unfortunately he died. That is not murder. That’s not even manslaughter.

I’m not gonna get into the argument that he should have been indicted so there would be a public trial before a jury rendered its verdict. I will point out that a case could be made for negligence in a civil suit. I’m sure the Garner family has retained legal representation to pursue a wrongful death claim and they’ll probably get a sizable settlement.

That’s what us lawyers call a happy ending.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
This entry was posted in Bad Cop No Donut, Police and Policing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Another Grand Jury Gets It Right

  1. 49erDweet says:

    Yep. Yep. And yep. But…………………………….feewings!!!!

  2. DeniseVB says:

    I can’t get enough of this video. So simple….and I know I overshare that my son is a Fed and my daughter, former rebel, is alive because she never resisted arrest and got off on many warnings, except for that weekend she spent at Riker’s Island for being a dumbsh*t in a bar fight…..but I digress….

    • The Klown says:

      One thing you don’t ever want to get is “Assault on a peace officer” on your record. I know a guy who did that when he was 17 and every time he gets arrested he gets roughed up.

      “So you like to fight the police, huh?”

  3. DeniseVB says:

    I hope the Sharptonistas don’t burn down Staten Island, they’re still recovering from Super Storm Sandy.

    I read somewhere that if NYC were a country, the NYPD would be the 3rd largest army in the worrrrld. I’m surprised their death rate is so low.

  4. The Klown says:

    Here is THE LAW:

    On June 22, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a rule that restricts the sale, distribution, and marketing of cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products to protect children and adolescents. The rule is required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and is intended to protect kids by making tobacco products less accessible and attractive to them.

    Check photo ID of everyone appearing under age 27 who attempts to purchase cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, or smokeless tobacco.
    Only sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco to anyone age 18 or older. **
    Only sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco in a direct, face-to-face exchange. ***
    Do NOT break open cigarette or smokeless tobacco packages to sell products in smaller amounts.
    Do NOT sell cigarette packages containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.
    Do NOT sell single cigarettes, also called “loosies”.
    Do NOT give away free samples of cigarettes.
    Do NOT give away free samples of smokeless tobacco except from a “qualified adult-only facility.”
    Do NOT sell flavored cigarettes or flavored cigarette tobacco (other than menthol).
    * This is only a summary of the laws. For the full list of federal laws, visit:
    ** Retailers must also follow state tobacco laws, even if they are more restrictive. For example, in some states the minimum age is 19.
    *** The sale of cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco through vending machines and self-service displays are allowed in adult-only facilities where no person younger than 18 is permitted to enter. Please note that tobacco product vending machines are banned in some states.

    As usual, the law was passed because WE NEED TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN!

    Also as usual, I have to wonder who benefits financially from this law.

  5. WMCB says:

    I disagree. I think there may have been excessive force, there. Yes, cops have every right to use force to effect an arrest. The level of force in response to any resistance whatsoever (i.e. pulling away) should not be “infinite.” The problem is that that opinion is going to be overshadowed by the cries of IT’S MURDER!!! and IT’S RACIST!!! And evil whitey AmeriKKKa!

    Here’s my deal: If the nation thinks that cops are going overboard, and this is a good example, I can get on board with having that conversation. Or, as you said, the family suing for negligence (he was telling them he couldn’t breathe.)

    But if the price of police reform is going to involve looting, burning, and my getting on board with the narrative that we’re an evil racist nation who abuse black ppl for kicks and giggles, then I’m out.

    Because it’s not worth it.

    So even though I disagree with you, myiq, whether or not I’m willing to make a stink entirely depends on the actions of the masses. If a group of Nazis had some really good ideas about tax reform, I’d not be marching with them in my support of their good idea. You know why? Because everything else about their mob/rally is so repugnant, I can’t legitimize it.

    I feel no differently about the Al Sharptons of the country, or the race-baiters on twitter screaming about burning down the Christmas tree in Times Square, than I do about a Nazi mob. I REFUSE to be associated with that, even if I may agree in part with them on one issue.

    • The Klown says:

      You DISAGREE???



    • swanspirit says:

      I agree with the idea that there MAY appear have been excessive force used to subdue Garner . And yes he MAY have been telling the police he could not breathe .
      I worked on a locked psyche unit for years , where a code green meant you had to take someone down and take them to the “quiet room” for their own safety and the safety of everyone on the unit , because they were assaulting someone , or maybe they were just throwing chairs in the cafeteria . I could not count the times someone used the “I can’t breathe ” excuse in order to continue to fight and get free. I have seen people screaming they can’t breathe at the top of their lungs , only to have it pointed out to them that their breathing apparatus was functioning sufficiently to allow for a very loud volume of speech, and yet they continued to scream that.
      Yes we have very specific training in how to subdue someone , and policies to follow , but in the middle of a struggle , not every single procedure can be implemented , especially with very large persons. Say you assign one person to each limb , but it takes three just to hold one arm or leg , things get improvised . And most times, for very violently acting out people, they have to be held sufficiently still in order for the nurse to give a shot of sedation medication.
      I am absolutely certain the ultimate goal and outcome the police were seeking was the least of amount injury for all concerned .
      I am so very deeply grateful there was never an accidental death of a patient when I was involved in subduing a patient , and I feel for the man who died and his family , but I also feel for the officer involved

      • WMCB says:

        I’m aware the cops probably hear “I can’t breathe” a hundred times a day.

        That said, the officer in question would have been wise to shift his arm when the complaint was made. It doesn’t appear to me that the guy was struggling at that point.

        • swanspirit says:

          Well, at one point, they did respond to his complaint of not breathing . But it was not soon enough , I guess , and they were not aware of his health issues . And murderers don’t call EMTs , and from what I understand , the EMTs made some errors as well.

  6. HELENK3 says:

    give in to the rioters, screw the people that want to enjoy a yearly tradition. screw the grand jury, their findings mean nothing today.

  7. HELENK3 says:

    Justice Department opens civil rights probe into death of Eric Garner in New York police custody, officials tell @CNN, @nprpolitics

  8. The Klown says:

    • Kathy says:

      Exactly ! the Obama Admin.. Is always treated like they are above the law. Actually the take down on the video looked too harsh to me–I don’t know why they didn’t just taze him.

  9. 49erDweet says:

    Well, instead of messing with the annual tree lighting thingy, why not get serious and blockade all the grocery deliveries on LI for a week! That’d bring whitey to his knees!

    • elliesmom says:

      It always surprises me when people don’t learn from history, but by now at my age it shouldn’t, I guess. Atheists were doing quite well getting themselves exempted from required participation in government sponsored religious activities until they went after outdoor Christmas displays. You just can’t mess with Santa Claus and the Virgin Mary without getting a lot of push back.

  10. The Klown says:

  11. The Klown says:

    Kingpin – Roy pays his rent:

  12. The Klown says:

    RaeLynn – God Made Girls:

  13. Falstaff says:

    You have to admit, the “optics” are bad for us. White cops kill unarmed black men, there’s prima facie excessive force, and grand juries (that normally indict on even the weakest evidence) deny that there is evidence of a crime. How can we fight the impression that this society sanctions the indiscriminate murder of black men by white cops? A friend of mine from Germany says that the current view over there is that America is just “KKK-lite” because blacks can just be shot down in the street. Even worse, German far-right kooks see this as a good thing.

    • elliesmom says:

      So we have grand juries who go beyond the first impression propagated by a press with an agenda, and you somehow think that’s a bad thing?

      • Falstaff says:

        What’s bad is how it all looks. You have to admit that these two decisions feed a destructive narrative to the effect that white American cops can kill black men with impunity. My question was how do we counter that narrative? You do see a problem here, I hope.

        • WMCB says:

          Cops don’t do this exclusively to black men. Almost 3 times as many whites are killed by cops as blacks. It just gets covered more.

        • elliesmom says:

          I see a problem with a press that’s more interested in their narrative than in the truth. I don’t see a problem with a grand jury doing its job regardless of the optics. I’m guessing you’ve never served on a grand jury? I have, and I wouldn’t have wanted us to be more concerned with how things look than how things actually were.

    • Kathy says:

      we spent many years in Germany and I can tell you that the USA is pure as the driven snow with race relations compared to most European countries. And my daughter spent her senior year in Japan living with a family–she told me about being horrified with them at a fair and they started pointing and giggling at a black man at the fair. She tried to shush them–but said they rarely see black people so couldn’t contain themselves…, you see we are not so bad.

    • 49erDweet says:

      I’m with Kathy on this, Falstaff. Don’t care a nickel what Germans think of us. Glass houses and throwing stones and all that. They have no room to talk and no say so in our culture. No offense, but your friend’s opinion doesn’t count.

  14. leslie says:

    I guess the optics are bad. But does the kill count in cities like Chicago where black-on-blach crime is rampant, reflect ny better?

  15. mothy6767 says:

    Something I think is over looked and do not belivev police cams can solve is that they have to follow their gut. I worked many years behind a bar in NYC and I learned how to profile people. I could spot trouble at the door. Skin color was never an issue assholedom was. It is an attitude. A chip on the shoulder that some people think the world owes them. Every person on the planet can throw a pity party. Life is unfair. Following Ferguson if I was in charge of hiring a 12/hr African American who resents me or a 10/hr obama legal Mexican I am going to go with the Mexican. Why would I pay someone who hates me?

    OT but a ditty that reminds me that I am fortunate enough to care about more than my little world

  16. 49erDweet says:

    WMCB makes a good point. Whatever hold the cop initially had ended up during thd struggle becoming a de facto choke hold.
    I suppose it’s not worth mentioning that the most significant reason, ages ago, for outlawing hallucinatory thingies was not lack of financial taxability but their nasty side effect of eradicating the sense of self preservation and replacing it with a false feeling of physical supremacy.

    • WMCB says:

      If someone repeatedly says they can’t breathe, you CHECK. Even if 99% of the time they are lying and just being a drama queen, you still check.

      A conservative former police officer is going over a lot of this in his timeline. He did training. He says that yes, the initial hold was justified, but the senior officers should have been on top of things, told them to ease off once he was down, etc.

      This is one tweet, but go read his whole timeline.

      • 49erDweet says:

        Yeah, even without reading the link – which I’ll do manana – I agree. Have seen too many “swarm” ops not to recognize when one goes bad.

  17. mothy6767 says:

    Cops and nurses have the worst jobs in the world. Both require response based on observation and both get thrown under the bus when something goes wrong.

    • swanspirit says:

      How about that …. But nurses have the advantage of being trained observers of physiological processes , cops not so much .

      • 49erDweet says:

        Cops one-on-one are usually pretty good with emotionally unstable persons. Tactical squads working together, too, are usually pretty good. It’s the mixed groups where mischief occurs, and this looked like a mixed group to me. First criticism, most cops were not in uniform. Why? Second criticism, which might be cleared up by evidence other than the video, but why did Garner need to be arrested at that precise moment by a plain clothes detail? What was the hurry? He did not seem to be a threat to others and did not seem to be trying to leave the scene… why?

    • Kathy says:

      Add teachers to that list. People would be stunned at the crap teachers have to put up with.

  18. SHV says:

    I wonder what the response of Holder, Sharpton, et. al. would be if NYC PD said that in order to be sensitive to racism concerns of the “Community”, AA police officers will be assigned to AA neighborhoods. A few years ago, there were three police shootings of AA teens in my town; two were killed by the same AA police officer and no protest. The third was a15 yo who was driving through a mall parking garage in a stolen car and breaking into parked cars. He tried to run over a white cop and died for his trouble. The “getting his life back on track” 15 yo was out on $110k bond for armed car jacking of a women waiting to pick up a person for local hospital. The white cop was tried twice for 2and degree murder, hung juries.

    • WMCB says:

      I’d be in favor of black cops policing black communities just to shut up the incessant “it’s because racism” BS.

      Then maybe, eventually, we could all figure out that the State is a danger to all of us, not just black people.

      • mothy6767 says:

        Normally I am with you but here I disagree on so many levels. Only gay cops in the Village only Jews on the Upper West Side Latinos in LA. Geriatrics on the beat in Miami?

      • mothy6767 says:

        Give an inch take a mile. Anyone who has ever dealt with a brat knows you have to be firm. Ferguson was a vile missy fit. You do not placate missy fits.

      • SHV says:

        “State is a danger to all of us”
        I remember HUAC, McCarthy, Hoover, Nixon’s enemies list, etc. and that era was rainbows and unicorns compared to the evolving Bush/Cheney-Obama/Holder Police State.

        • WMCB says:

          Yup. I spent the first half of my life with gov meddling surprisingly little in it, in retrospect.

        • mothy6767 says:

          McCarthy was not all wrong.

          • SHV says:

            Many of McCarthy’s accusations have proven to have substance, it’s the methods of McCarthyism that are dangerous and now we have the Patriot Act, FISA, etc., etc. which are much worse.

          • mothy6767 says:

            Agree but the myth promulgated by the left as a fool is wrong. Flip sidenote deification of Kennedy. Now it seems to me that even before Obola gets out of office they are trying to paint him with that same brush. History books will color him with accolades. The truth be dampened. He was a community organizer who won the Nobel for zip. He is a demi God to the left.

      • 49erDweet says:

        I wish many more young blacks would get into law enforcement, but I vehemently disagree with the idea of black officers for black neighborhoods. It would not be fair to those officers and limit their career development BIG TIME. Not to mention set us back 60 years. And make the Sharptons even more powerful. I think it’s called “segregation”.

        • WMCB says:

          Actually, not segregation, as I wasn’t saying white cops legally forbidden via govt.
          But if these communities think it’s all about race, maybe they OUGHT to hire nothing but black cops for awhile, just to get it through their heads that it’s bad policing + crime in their community, not race. But then again, they might have few takers.

  19. WMCB says:

    These young white social justice warrioring college students know what racism is, yo. Watch them proceed to educate this older black man in what it really is. The chick STUDIES racism, man! In COLLEGE, dontcha know. Shut the fuck up you old geezer who once actually rode in the back of the bus, and let me educate you on how you don’t know shit:

  20. mothy6767 says:

    a question. My niece loves Enrique Iglesias and to be honest so do I. Not brat another niece. Anyhow Enrique won an award for best Latino male or something. He is Spanish and filipino. Can he still be considered Latino?

  21. We recently had an incident here in South Florida where a man hijacked several cars and took them up and down the interstate finally killing a man and beating his wife to critical condition. He is still at large. This guy had been arrested 2 days prior on weapons charges (Moore’s most recent run-in with police was Sunday, when he was arrested about 3:30 a.m. by Lauderhill police. He was charged with possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, posted $2,500 bond and was released the same day, records show.) and bonded out of jail. The thing is – reading his criminal record – “Moore has served five stints in Florida state prisons going back to 1997. The longest and most recent stay was from Sept. 1, 2011 to Feb. 15, 2014, when he served nearly 2 1/2 years of a 4-year prison sentence for an armed robbery in Pompano Beach.”
    Moore’s other convictions include burglary, assault, aggravated battery and cocaine possession.

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