It’s An Outrage That Parents Have To Teach Their Black Children How To Avoid Being Killed By A Cop
A grand jury in Staten Island voted yesterday not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the killing of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by the officer. His crime? Selling untaxed cigarettes. Every parent should care when there are massive failures in our justice system. But some parents have to care more than others, because yet another grand jury decision has proven that their children are not safe. Parents of black children have to literally train their kids how to navigate interactions with police so they don’t end up dead. That is tragic.
Every parent should care about raising their child in a just world. Every parent should be disgusted by those who would defend the extreme violence of the NYPD that day — when, because Garner dared talk back, he was placed in a chokehold that his asthmatic body could not endure. A move that is not even sanctioned by the NYPD.
In a video of the arrest, Garner is seen several times shouting, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Until his body goes limp. And to those who would say “he shouldn’t have been arguing with police,” if you don’t have the experience of being harassed daily for the color of your skin, maybe you should think twice before weighing in on that. An unarmed man arguing with police officers does not deserve to be robbed of his life — choked to death then left lying in the street – with no immediate medical attention.
The chokehold — a move that was banned by the NYPD in 1993– killed Garner. The medical examiner ruled that it was a combination of the chokehold and compression to the chest that was responsible for Garner’s death, and ruled it a homicide. A homicide caught on tape. Still, the Staten IslandÂ grand jury didn’t think there was sufficient evidence to indict. There is videoÂ of Pantaleo choking the life out of a Garner for selling untaxed cigarettes, using a tactic that was banned by the NYPD over 20 years ago. Still not enough to even bring charges against the officer. Unbelievable.