The Blacks-Are-Always-Victims crowd and the Cops-Are-Always-Right crowd are not going to agree with me today. Events are not always so definitive that they can be placed into an existing slot so I’ll make my own slot. Every person must be held accountable for his or her actions, white and black and the time for excuses, rationalizations, and blame should be over. I detest cops who abuse their authority and push anyone around as I detest others who resist and taunt and curse those who risk their lives every day to protect the young, the elderly, and the innocent.
Another black man has been killed during an altercation with white police. The death of anyone is tragic since it is permanent, but it is worse if it is unnecessary and much worse if it was premeditated. The basic facts of the Eric Garner death: Garner, a 43 year-old black man died in an altercation with white cop Daniel Pantaleo for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. Up front, it is nauseating that a man would die because of such a petty crime. But we must look at the full story to make a decision as to where to place our anger and blame and what action to take.
Black businessmen complained to cops about Garner selling cigarettes outside their stores and his arrest was ordered by a black cop, and supervised by a black female officer. Moreover, the police officers were acting under orders issued a few days earlier by Philip Banks, New York City Chief of Police (and a Black) to “crack down” on the selling of loose, untaxed cigarettes.
While Garner’s record had little or nothing to do with his death, it does put it in perspective to know he had been arrested 31 times for assault, grand larceny, marijuana possession, driving without a license, false impersonation, and selling untaxed tobacco (eight times). He feigned surprise when he was accosted for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes! He was not a Sunday school teacher at Bethel Baptist Church where his funeral was held.
There were five police officers present so Garner was a fool to resist and the police officers should have had little trouble arresting him. It seems that Garner was not violent so it appears that at least poor judgment was used by the arresting officers but poor judgment does not equal systemic racism in the police department.
Garner should not have died and there is no proof that Officer Pantaleo intended to cause his death. In fact, does any honest person, knowing the facts, believe that the officer would have done anything differently if Garner had been lily white? I maintain that it is racism (and terribly unfair) to suggest that possibility.
Garner died because he was fat (350 pounds, some reported 400 pounds), six feet four inches tall, in poor health, and resisted arrest. If he had not been breaking the law, even a trivial law, he would still be alive. If he had obeyed the officers he would still be alive. If he had not resisted arrest, he would still be alive. But some will say that the officers used excessive force but what is excessive force? Should the police have disobeyed orders and smiled at his crime? Yes, a silly law, but what about other laws? He did not die for selling untaxed cigarettes but for resisting a lawful order.
If progressive Whites and Blacks continue this crusade against police we are going to see mass resignations of police officers and/or refusal to do their duty. A police officer must perform his or her job as per their training and should never have to wonder, “If I do what is necessary to arrest this person, will I lose my job, my reputation, my retirement, my home, and maybe my freedom?”
Since we cannot look into the mind of Officer Pantaleo we cannot be sure that he did not use excessive force, but even so, no one can charge intent to harm. Pantaleo was doing his job even if we think he was enforcing a stupid regulation but he believed he had to subdue Garner in order to arrest him. That was his job. Since no one can prove harmful intent, the grand jury could not find him guilty.
Professor Eugene O’Donnell of the John Jay Criminal College of Criminal Justice wrote in The New York Daily News: “As a practical matter — on the basis of past cases — the grand jury would likely indict only if it found malice or some intention to hurt Mr. Garner or that a gross disregard for Mr. Garner’s well-being is what created the tragic ending during this routine arrest. Finding that the officer was careless or that the arrest was bungled will not rise to the level of a crime.” Therefore, there could be no indictment by the grand jury.
Even if the grand jury was wrong, it does not mean that racism was a motivating factor. Even Garner’s own daughter told CNN that it was not racism but police abuse. Moreover, 14 of the 23 grand jury members were white, the rest were black or Hispanic.
Everyone seems to be talking about the “illegal chokehold” the officer is accused of using; however, the “chokehold” was not illegal, only banned by the New York Police department. Furthermore, some experts say that it was not a “chokehold” but a permissible submission hold taught to him at the police academy. And the autopsy declared that there was no harm to Garner’s windpipe or neck bones. He would have lived had he not been in poor health and resisted arrest.
In light of the above facts, irresponsible officials rushed in where even fools know better and declared this to be another example of a racist cop killing an unarmed Black man and a grand jury (with 9 non-Whites) refusing to indict the officer. After hearing the evidence the jury thought that the officer did not use excessive force and acted legally in carrying out his duties as he had sworn to do. Yet Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will conduct a civil rights investigation into the case. For sure, I would refuse to sit on a grand jury if I knew honest work I would do for very little remuneration would put me in the sights of federal jackboots.
The medical examiner determined that Garner’s death was a homicide but a homicide is not murder. Homicide simply means death at the hands of another person. He did declare that the “chokehold” contributed to Garner’s death. Of course it did. So did the fact he was fat and sick.
Do black leaders really believe that white police officers go to work each day with the intent to kill a black man? If so, they are prime candidates for a psycho ward. About 100 Blacks are killed by white officers each year but 300 Whites are killed by police during that time! Fact: more black men get into trouble with the law because they break the law far more than white men, but that’s another article. And writing it makes me a racist!
No, there is no epidemic of white cops killing black men but a case can be made for an epidemic of black men killing white men. But I suppose to make that factual case is an indication of racism! However, there is an epidemic of irresponsible black men rejecting education, refusing to work, resisting arrests, and repudiating marriage but producing numerous babies.
After doing their job of stirring the racist pot in Ferguson, the racists (black and white) again came out of the woodwork to denounce racism in the New York case when there is no support for such a claim. The president spoke of “concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way.” Mayor De Blasio called for “action” suggesting that the incident represented the culmination of “centuries of racism.”
To think they killed a tree to print such tripe! The Garner incident is proof of an epidemic of generations of disrespect for authority, disobedience to the Scripture, and deterioration of the family. That’s what Blacks and Whites need to work on!
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”
Fact, Fraud or Faith?
by Don Boys, Ph.D.
Only an uninformed fanatic says that evolution or creation can be proved scientifically. Christians believe in creationism because we believe in the veracity of the Bible but we also have scientific evidence to support our position. In every debate I’ve had with evolutionary scientists, the arrogant, asinine accusation is made, “Well, evolution is scientific while creationism is religion.” Evolution is about as scientific as a voodoo rooster plucking ceremony in Haiti. Almost.