No Charges For NYPD-Involved Choking of Eric Garner

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The NYPD officer who was caught on video applying what many saw as an “illegal” or an “excessive” chokehold that caused the death of Eric Garner, will not be charged with his death.

A Staten Island grand jury dismissed all charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, meaning he won’t face indictment for the death of Garner.

From the NY Post

The blockbuster decision capped weeks of investigation by the special grand jury, which was empaneled in September specifically to review evidence in Garner’s racially charged death.

It was unclear exactly what charges prosecutors asked the grand jury to consider filing, or how the vote went.

Under New York law, an indictment must be agreed upon by at least 12 members of a grand jury, which can have up to 23 members.”

Cellphone video captured the officer-involved altercation with Garner which began after he was confronted for illegally selling cigarettes.  In the video, you can see and hear Garner pleading with the officers saying he couldn’t breathe as the officers restrained and cuffed him.

Garner’s death was ruled a homicide by the Medical Examiner’s Office, saying he died from a “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”

Other reports are saying that Garner suffered a heart attack.

Garner’s family has filed a $75 million wrongful death suit against the city of New York, and none other than Al Sharpton is a Garner-family advisor.

This will surely add more ammunition to the demagogued narrative that racist, out-of-control cops are preying on innocent black men, fueling the “black lives matter” mentality.  I will say- this case, rather than the Michael brown case, is much more disturbing and qualifying of restrained outrage regarding how police apprehend and restrain offenders- regardless of their color.

That said, because of the intentionally-inflamed rhetoric that we’ve heard over the past several months where racial agitators and defenders of Michael Brown elevated him to being a martyr and canonized him as a saint, a significant amount of moral authority regarding questionable officer involvement with blacks has been forfeited. Though I still believe that the issue of black criminality- largely at the expense of black victims- is much more of a pressing concern that warrants more focus than confrontations between police officers and (potential) black offenders, this present case is much more favorable to the so-called ‘black lives matter’ social campaign.

Because the grievance industries (aided by media outlets) intentionally inflamed tensions, intentionally ignored and disregarded evidence in the Brown case that clearly demonstrated Brown’s actions contributed to his own death- in addition to repeating and gesturing, the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ fairy tale, the hearts and minds of many Americans might be closed to the potentially legitimate cries of injustice this time around.

That’s why we’re taught from an early age never to cry wolf.

Though it is sad that Eric Garner lost his life, the reality is had he- and Michael Brown- not resisted arrest (Garner yelled ‘this stops today’ when officers approached), both men would be alive today. That’s the narrative that needs more attention: don’t resist arrest; live to talk about it.

#Blacklivesmatter- but not to black people

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#Blacklivesmatter is a new hashtag activism campaign that claims to be “a response to the ways in which [black] lives have been devalued.” This socially virtuous campaign has gained considerable momentum recently as the country awaited the results of the grand jury investigation into whether enough evidence existed to indict officer Darren Wilson for committing a crime- the murder of Michael Brown.

The objective of #Blacklivesmatter- as stated on at least one website associated with the campaign- “is a call to action…which Black people can unite to end state sanctioned violence both in Ferguson, but also across the United States of America.” It also “aims to end the insidious and widespread assault on Black life that pervades every stage of law enforcement interactions; be it in custody or in our communities.”

The campaign seeks to bring attention to the fact that black lives are every bit as important and worthy of respect as everyone else.

It’s a worthy goal but tragically misguided. The focus of the campaign would have much more moral authority and would be taken much more seriously if it focused on those actions that do devalue black lives- which have very little to do with white cops and everything to do with blacks themselves.

According to data collected from 1980-2008, in 2008, the homicide offender rate for blacks was almost 25 percent, seven times higher than the offending rate of whites (3.4%).   The homicide victimization rate for blacks was about six times higher than the victimization rates for whites. Blacks were also 47.4% of all homicide victims and 52.5% of all homicide offenders. During the same period, blacks accounted for 62% of all drug-related homicides compared to 37% committed by whites. Over 65% of all drug-related homicide offenders were black; whites comprised 33 percent.

Blacks were 44.1% of felony murder victims and almost 60% of felony murder offenders. For gun homicide rates, blacks were 51.4% of all victims but 56.9% of offenders. Black offenders committed 93% of all black homicides.

The FBI statistics aren’t any better. In 2012, of the 2,648 black victims of homicide, blacks were responsible for 2,412. Of the 14,581 total murder offenders that year, 5531 (38%) were black.

This qualifies as an ‘insidious and widespread assault on black life.’

The internecine war doesn’t begin here; it actually begins in the womb. As bad as black criminality is- and it’s bad- the most dangerous place for a black child isn’t the inner city or cities disproportionately populated by blacks. It’s in its mother’s womb.

According to one report, black abortions accounted for nearly 36% of all abortions performed between 2007 and 2010. The same report said blacks accounted for almost 54% (16,738) of all abortions performed in Georgia (31,244 total), even though blacks are less than a third of the population. In Mississippi, between 1995 and 2010, blacks accounted for almost 72% (39,052) of all abortions while comprising 37.4% of the population.

In a 2012, report from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, more black babies were killed by abortion (31,328) than were born (24,758) in New York City, totaling 42.4% of all abortions performed. In 2010, 60% of all viable, black pregnancies in New York City ended in abortion.

The babies fortunate enough to make it out the likely unmarried mother’s womb (black illegitimacy rate is 73%) appear resolute in their intent to finish the work of killing that many black mothers began.

Furthermore, the numbers of black abortions and the numbers of black murders at the hands of other blacks, respectively, both exceed- by far- the total number of blacks killed by lynching (3446) between 1882-1968.

Black lives matter? Not only is it questionable if black lives matter to blacks themselves, one wouldn’t be wrong if one sincerely questioned the depth of self-hate responsible for motivating blacks to kill themselves off with the type of reckless determination that pervades their actions.

When you combine the numbers of black babies aborted with the numbers of black victims who die by the hands of other blacks, you see that the attack on black lives has nothing to do with racist, white cops. If we blacks don’t take our lives seriously, why should we expect- or demand- anyone else to?

Again if #blacklivesmatter- and I believe they do- then black lives have to matter to black folk first, before they matter to others. And black lives have to matter just as much when they’re taken by blacks as they seem to matter when taken by others. 

John Lewis Likens Ferguson to Selma

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On a recent episode of the Roland Martin radio show, Representative John Lewis (D-GA) took Martin’s bait and irresponsibly compared the shooting of blacks by police officers- including Michael Brown- a “modern-day Selma.”

Think about that. Blacks being shot by police officers are equated with the March to Selma, Alabama in 1963.

For far too many blacks, it will always be the 1960’s. No matter how much visible and overtly obvious progress the country has made in overcoming racial discrimination, in the minds of still too many blacks, we still haven’t “overcome.”

And in reality, the fact that every incident involving race- no matter how peripherally- is intentionally and desperately compared with past incidents like Selma, actually proves how much of a non-factor systematic racism is in today’s America.

Back to the racial instigator- the ‘civil rights icon’, John Lewis.

Lewis told Martin-

Selma was the turning point. And I think what happened in Ferguson will be the turning point. I think people are waiting, they’re watching, and we’re gonna see within the next few days what’s going to happen — and that would be massive, nonviolent protests all over America. When we were beaten on that bridge in Selma, people couldn’t take it, for they saw it, they heard about it, they read about it, and it lit a sense of righteous indignation. When we see a miscarriage of justice in Ferguson, they’re going to have the same reaction they had towards Selma.”

“Miscarriage of justice?”

First- to say this is to suggest that Michael Brown was innocent. The information released and leaked so far indicates that Brown wasn’t the gentle giant his family and the media claimed he was, nor was Brown out “spreading the word of Jesus Christ”- a lie his cousin offered up at Brown’s funeral.

Based on the same leaked information, Michael Brown was culpable in his own death. Further- is Lewis calling for officer Darren Wilson’s indictment even if the evidence demonstrates Wilson’s innocence? Where’s the justice in that?

Were the protestors who marched in Selma, Alabama for voting rights the moral equivalent of Brown stealing a box of cigarillos and attacking a police officer?

Were those who peacefully marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge the moral equivalent to the “peaceful demonstrators” who’ve looted, damaged businesses and organized chaos in Ferguson Missouri?

Is Bloody Sunday the moral equivalent to the criminal disobedience the country has witnessed in Ferguson since August?

It’s clear that the statements of John Lewis- emblematic of the average ‘hands up don’t shoot,’ Michael Brown supporter- isn’t concerned about justice. He- along with every other person who’s emotionally involved in this case already has his or her minds made up. The narrative of ‘racist cop shoots innocent, unarmed back teen’ as proof of unending white racism can’t- and won’t- be pierced, regardless of what evidence to the contrary the grand jury reveals.

With all due respect to John Lewis and what he experienced during the actual march to Selma-including a severe head wound, engaging in emotional manipulation by racially inciting the black residents of Ferguson discredits what he and many others personally witnessed in Selma. With statements as reprehensible as these, he trivializes what Selma marchers experienced on Bloody Sunday while giving credibility to the self-destructive, anti-social behaviors of Ferguson protestors.

Disgusting.