Two Grand Jury Acquittals in a Row in Police Abuse Cases. Does this smell right?
Last week a grand jury cleared New York City patrolman Daniel Panteolo of any wrong doing after he was recorded on video applying a fatal illegal choke hold to Eric Garner. Garner’s alleged crimes were selling black market cigarettes and of course, that catch all charge that always works in the favor of the officer, “resisting arrest”. Did Eric Garner deserve to die because he resisted arrest for the non-violent crime of selling untaxed cigarettes?
Grand juries seldom acquit. History confirms that if a case goes far enough to go before a grand jury, the chances are literally better than 99% that the case will go to trial. In consideration of the fact that two independent grand jury decisions involving high profile police abuse cases have resulted in charges against police officers being dropped within the period of just a few weeks, is it reasonable to suspect that something corrupt might be afoot with respect to grand jury decisions involving police abuse cases? Only the jurors themselves could honestly answer that question.
The police union consistently stands behind each and every officer
In response to the decision favoring Panteolo, in a recent AP news article, Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a union organization representing police officers, was quoted as saying that “Police officers feel like they are being thrown under the bus” He went on to say “ You cannot go out and break the law. What we did not hear is that you cannot resist arrest. That’s a crime.”
Watch the video for yourself. Garner was asthmatic. As he was resisting arrest, he repeatedly gasped “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”. Panteolo didn’t back off. Garner died.
Yet, supporters of the officer argued before the grand jury that Garner contributed to his own death, saying that the very fact that he could repeatedly say “I can’t breathe” proved that he could indeed breathe! Something smells rotten in Denmark.
A Professor of Police Studies stands up for the police enforcing petty bullshit laws with lethal force.
“Everyone is just demonizing the police,” said Maki Haberfeld, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of criminal justice. “But police follow orders and laws. Nobody talks about the responsibility of the politicians to explain to the community why quality-of-life enforcement is necessary.”
The quality and intention of law has been forgotten
You’re really kidding aren’t you, Professor Habefeld? Have you ever thought about examining the content and quality of the policies and laws on the books? Could it be that the people themselves do not believe that “quality of life enforcement” as you call it, is at all necessary? Is it the politician’s role to change the people’s minds for them? Or is it the people’s role to replace politicians who would attempt to govern their beliefs?
Is the Professor aware that our representatives do not make conditions for the people, but rather, that they are to make decisions in response to the peoples’ wishes? A proposition like yours, Professor Habefeld, might be found true in a dictatorial monarchy, but not in the constitutional republic of the United States.
Our now socialized society is faced with a myriad of new petty and contradictory bullshit laws, all put in place by representatives acting in their own self interest, rather than in the interest of their constituency.
The real root of the police abuse problem lies in the existence of a mountain of bullshit laws that protect nobody
Yes, police are obligated to follow orders and laws. The excessive taxation of tobacco is just one more unnecessary law. Nobody deserves to die over it. But apparently in Habefeld’s view, it really is entirely necessary to overtax nicotine addicts. After all, smokers are only ignorant peasants who don’t understand what’s best for them, and politicians do know what’s best for this obviously inferior peasant class of smokers.
Evil is progressive
Once the foot is inserted in the door, evil pushes it open for itself wider and wider, one step at a time. Once it gets its victims to believe that line about the politicians knowing what’s best for the smokers, then it will have them believing that it’s entirely necessary to strong arm and discipline people who attempt to circumvent this “entirely necessary” cigarette tax by selling them on the black market.
Once evil’s victims believe that, they are likely to believe the next step, namely, that black market cigarette sellers must be stopped because they promote nicotine addiction. That is, by the way, the very same addiction that the cigarette tax itself is also promoting. The cigarette tax is designed to generate tons of revenue.
Evil’s victims then must agree that if someone dies at that hands of an officer enforcing a law designed to protect the public from the evils of nicotine addiction, then that’s acceptable and righteous. After all, enforcing this cigarette tax law by stopping black market sales probably saved the life of some poor victim from nicotine addiction. In evil’s view, that poor victim’s life would be more valuable than the life of some scumbag who dared to sell cigarettes on the black market, circumventing the City’s perceived right to rob smokers on account of their nicotine addiction.
Officers, please stand up for what is right!
Police officers who are capable of thinking for themselves instead of letting their union do it for them must conclude that solving the police abuse problem requires individual courage. Nobody deserves to die over minor “quality of life” offenses that have nothing to do with discouraging real crime. Until bad laws can be removed from the books, the best way to preserve the reputation of the police is for officers to exercise courtesy and common sense. Simply leave people alone who are not hurting others, and stop being abusive.