In July, New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo choked unarmed black man Eric Garner to death, in broad daylight, while a bystander caught it on video. That is what American police do. Yesterday, despite the video, despite an NYPD prohibition of exactly the sort of chokehold Pantaleo used, and despite the New York City medical examiner ruling the death a homicide, a Staten Island grand jury declined even to indict Pantaleo. That is what American grand juries do.
With the weight of the world's conscience behind outrage over the death and non-conviction, now you begin to see why there is a problem. If there is no fear of public perception, if there is no fear of repercussion in the brightest of media spotlight--what chance do individuals on dark streets have of being safe? Of having justice?
Criminalizing the hustle: Policing poor people’s survival strategies from Eric Garner to Alton Sterling - Garner sold loose cigarettes; Alton Sterling hawked CDs — and they both died at the hands of police.
More protests expected after funeral of Brooklyn man shot by police
as a woman of color it has been incredibly impactful on my life that in most times and places in history, I have no rights as a person. I would never been considered fully human. There are people who have never thought about that.
2 cops pulled off streets, Staten Island DA looking into man's death after NYPD chokehold
A demonstrator cries while gathering in Philadelphia to protest the Eric Garner grand jury decision during a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at City Hall December 3, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.