Murder Most Foul. What does lynching look like in 21st Century America?
This is one version. Another season, another reason to kill an unarmed Black man in America.
“It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Citing “centuries of racism that have brought us to this day,” Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the fact that protesters have rallied around the statement “Black lives matter” reflects a sad situation, that such an idea needs to be both stated and repeated.
“It’s a phrase that should never have to be said,” the mayor said. “It should be self-evident.”
De Blasio also said that after the grand jury’s decision, other inquiries continue, including one by the New York Police Department. Saying that he had just spoken with Attorney General Eric Holder, de Blasio said that the federal government is “clearly engaged and poised to act.”
The U S Justice Department will launch a federal civil rights investigation after the Staten Island grand jury declined to bring charges in the case of Eric Garner, an African American who died this summer after a white New York City police officer placed him in an apparent chokehold during an arrest.
Garner, 43, died July 17 after Officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold during an arrest that was recorded on videos, which have contributed to public anger over the treatment of African American men by police.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, expressed outrage at the decision. “I don’t know what video they were looking at, not the same one as the rest of the world,” Carr said at a press conference. “How could we put our trust in the justice system when they fail us like this?”
Eric Garner’s widow, Esaw, said that “it was like a modern-day lynching. They had it out for him.”
“It’s a very emotional day for our city. It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We’re grieving — again — over the loss of Eric Garner, who was a father, a husband, a son, a good man — a man who should be with us, and isn’t.”
There were five Staten island police officers involved in the chocking death of Garner. Other officers present on July 17 were not facing indictment as they were offered immunity in exchange for testimony.
The police officer who applied the choke hold to Garder was Officer Daniel Pantaleo. He is the plains clothed officer in the above photo wearing number 99. He issued a statement which he said was in the nature of an apology. When asked whether she accepted Police Officer Pantaleo’s apology, Esaw Garner flatly declared: “Hell no.”
“The time for remorse would have been when my husband was yelling to breathe. That would have been the time for him to show some type of remorse or some type of care for another human being’s life—when he was screaming 11 times that he can’t breathe,” Esaw Garner said. “There’s nothing that him or his prayers or anything else will make me feel any different. No, I don’t accept his apology. No, I can care less about his condolences. He’s still working, still getting a paycheck, still feeding is kids when my husband is six feet under and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now.”
The NYPD bans the use of the chokehold; Pantaleo’s attorney, Stuart London, argued that the officer used an approved take-down move, which he learned in police academy, because Garner was resisting arrest. “There was no pressure ever applied to his throat or neck area,” London said.
The New York City medical examiner’s office classified Garner’s death as homicide due to “compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” The office also mentioned Garner’s asthma and hypertensive cardiovascular disease as contributing factors.
London said Pantaleo remains on modified assignment on Staten Island.
The NYPD will conduct an internal investigation, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. New York’s two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D), had said they would urge the Justice Department to investigate.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said, “While there will be people who disagree with today’s grand jury decision, it is important that we respect the legal process and rule of law.”
Richmond County District Attorney Daniel M. Donovan Jr. is seeking a court order that would allow him to release “specific information in connection with this grand jury investigation”. Donovan has not commented on which charges the grand jury considered. Legal experts agree that the grand jury could have considered lesser homicide charges, including second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Since the New York City medical examiner’s office classified Garner’s death as homicide, it was reasonable to assume that some one was responsible for Garner’s death, since he did not die of natural causes. As such, a reasonable Grand Jury member would have been constrained to return an indictment for negligent homicide, at the very least. Not to do that flies in the face of all logic, and renders the Grand Jury process devoid of all credibility.
Peaceful protests began immediately in New York City. Above is a “Die-In’ at New York’s Grand Central Train Station.
Largely peaceful demonstrations gathered strength and snarled traffic in locations throughout the city, including Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and near Rockefeller Center, after it was announced that no criminal charges would be brought against officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner.