Just when the people of the United States thought that the judicial system couldn’t prove itself to be anymore flawed than it already was, the police officer responsible for strangling Eric Garner and causing his death has been completely let off by the grand jury.
The Staten Island grand jury came to the decision not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner’s death. They came to the decision today, Wednesday, December 3rd, after months of reviewing various evidence for the case including a testimony from Officer Pantaleo himself. The most shocking part about the grand jury’s decision not to vote for Officer Pantaleo to face trial, is the vast amount of video evidence captured by bystanders which clearly shows Garner being strangled by a rear naked choke.
Chokeholds of any kind are strictly banned by the Police Department’s rule book, and the fact that Pantaleo was actually recorded choking Garner, but still gets to walk free, has enraged the public. Earlier today, news broke that President Barack Obama is now supporting the use of body cameras on police to record their interactions with the public, but this case already shows that video evidence can easily be deemed useless when it comes to bringing police to justice for their actions.
Another thing that has the public extremely upset is that Eric Garner’s death was ruled a homicide on his autopsy report, and despite this, Pantaleo still won’t be brought to trial. If Garner’s death was in fact a homicide, and Pantaleo gets to walk, it raises the question: who is responsible for killing him?
This unfortunate example of our nation’s drastically flawed judicial system comes just shy of two weeks after the controversial decision not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown. That decision sent the general public into a frenzy and ignited protests and riots throughout Ferguson, NYC, California, and other areas. This judicial fail is sure to make matters much worse.
With police killing more and more unarmed men (who just so happen to all be Black), racial tensions are at a peak not seen since the Civil Rights movement. People are already preparing themselves for the police officers who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and completely innocent Akai Gurley, to get off without facing trial as well.
These consistent killings and lack of discipline from law enforcement officials can only make you wonder when, and if this will ever end. It seems like the only way to bring balance would be to strip the police of their guns or create a group whose sole job is to “police the police.”
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