Saturday, July 19, 2014

New York Cops Kill Unarmed Man As Onlookers Watch And Record

New York Police have a public image crisis on their hands after a video goes viral on the Internet of several officers forcibly taking an unarmed, 350-pound man with health issues into custody leads to his death. Police claimed he was illegally selling cigarettes on Staten Island by hawking Lucky cigarettes for 50 cents a piece. One police officer placed the 43-year Eric Garner in a chokehold as others assisted in wrestling him to the ground. The man repeatedly tells officers he couldn't breath, but they persisted until he laid motionless. He was later declared dead after being transported to a hospital.

Two officers have been placed on desk duty pending an investigation according to the New York Daily News. One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, is already the subject of two lawsuits brought by African Americans in which he was accused of false arrest. One of those lawsuits has been settled for $15,000 where he was accused of forcibly stripping two men in public so they could be searched. Charges against the two men were later dropped. In another suit, Pantaleo, is accused of trumping up charges against a man in Brooklyn who was held in a jail for a day. New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio postponed his scheduled vacation to Italy to deal with the crisis.

Police Commissioner William Bratton conceded at a press conference that the video appeared to show a police officer placing Garner in a chokehold, a maneuver that was banned by the New York Police Department more than 20 years ago. According to family members, Garners suffered from asthma, sleep apnea and diabetes. He couldn't walk a block without having to sit down to take a rest they said.


Chas. M. Navarra said...

The militarization of America's police departments continues....
alarming. When agents of a government can forcibly take down an unarmed citizen like this... we are talking totalitarianism, pure and simple. "There are none more enslaved than those who think they are free."

Anonymous said...

WTH does this have to do with Indiana? And shouldn't it say "Man dies while resisting arrest"? Nahhhhh...why not be like the mainstream media and try to get viewers over a headline with a two minute video!!! Can I get a link to the NJ police ofc who was abused and killed during a robbery a few days ago?

Gary R. Welsh said...

How police interact with the public, wherever, is always a matter of public concern. I don't exclude items from discussion simply because they occurred beyond our borders.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how persons who don't publish this blog criticize the blog owner for posted items. Anon 7:51 chill out.

Gary, you handle this bizarre and unfounded criticism perfectly.

Please continue to do what you do... very much appreciate the reporting and the analyses you provide us metro area Hoosiers!

Anonymous said...

And that's why I asked for the link to the NJ police ofc being ambushed and killed a few days ago. Why does that not make this blog? And public concern should also be focused on the attacks of police ofcs...

Gary R. Welsh said...

I didn't post about the Lafayette police officer who was caught on camera shoving a man in a wheelchair over on his side. Perhaps I should have since that occurred in Indiana. Would that have made you more happy, anon 8:53?

Unknown said...

1) The police officer said he had probable cause for arresting the man for an illegal act.
2) When officers attempted to make the arrest, the man resisted.
3) Since he was so big, and in order to cause the least harm & use the least force, they waited until enough officers were present.
4) The man forcefully & verbally resisted arrest, and necessary force was used to contain him.
5) From what I could hear on the video, all officers were calm and professional, even when trying to move the crowd back (which is when it gets REALLY dangerous).
This is another case where a short video likely does NOT tell the entire story.

Indy Rob said...

Mary, regardless of the circumstances that lead up to the choke hold, the choke has been illegal for many, many years.

Going through your points 1 by 1
1) The guy was selling cigareets for 50 cents apiece, it is illegal but not really hurting anyone.
2) the officers choose to arrest someone for selling cigarettes, they also escalated the situation.
3) The officiers waited until they could swarm the guy, seems more like a bullying tactic.
4) The dead guy forcefully & verbally resisted arrest, and UNnecessary force was used to contain him.
5) Not really, police did not behave in a professional fashion. They are not out preventing robberies, they are not preventing people from hurting each other, they are trying for selling without a license.
6) short video or not, it does show the police using an illegal choke hold that killed the guy. The short video does not show either the actions of the police before hand or the actions of the dead guy.

Anonymous said...

So, MRB, the police "claimed" they had probable cause. Anyone can claim anything but does that make it true? The poor guy was alleged to be hawking tobacco by the individual cigarette- certainly something so serious for NY police to cause such bodily harm and even death.

The guy resisted, these police claim. And this is a good reason to harm him? The poor guy suffers from several serious illnesses any of which may have contributed to his "resistance". Gosh, if I couldn't breathe because I was being manhandled and I had asthma, I suppose my thrashing might be considered "resisting".

Yea, right, assert that this is "calm and professional" police conduct with a private citizen is so ludicrous that I have to ask what medication you might be abusing.

I have no truck with the few good cops on the forces in many jurisdictions. Unfortunately, there are far too many like theses NYC cops who will allege anything for any action they take... and foolishly many judges and some citizens like you will believe a cop over a private citizen almost every time.

Anonymous said...

The videos tells the entire story that matters. Attempts to derail the discussion with irrelevance are the tactics of the tyrant.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mary Roger Bowser on each point. I would add that if a person cannot breathe, they cannot say "I cannot breathe."

The decision to resist arrest was his. He is responsible for his choices. He was bigger that the officers, and presented a threat of overpowering them.

I will wait for the autopsy to see what happened. Gary's post points out the criminal had health problems. Based on his size, I imagine the criminal also had high blood pressure which elevated when he forcibly & violently resisted arrest. He likely also had high cholesterol, which make heart disease and stroke more likely.

That criminal made the choice to engaged in a violent act. Had he obeyed the officer's commands as required, perhaps he would still be alive. It's likely he had a sudden heart attack brought on by his own commission of violence.

Anonymous said...

What a sick country this is. That we have a number of people who think people should unhesitatingly submit to police and that death resulting from failing to provide immediate submission is deserved is perhaps proof that this country should no longer exist.

Perhaps being ruled by other powers and more measured minds might civilize this land and its savages.

Anonymous said...

It is hard to say the officers used a choke hold on this guy when you can easily hear him yelling at the officers. If it was a choke hold, he would not have been able to breath in or out. If he is yelling, a lot of air is coming out. The man had a history of health issues that led to his death, not the officers actions.

Anonymous said...

Lessons here:

1) Don't be a criminal.

2) When authorities tell you to do something, obey them. It is legitimate authority, granted by The People.

3) Do NOT violently and forcibly resist lawful and proper arrest, as this criminal did in the video displayed...especially if you are an obese criminal with medical issues.

Anonymous said...

I am white. Black people better organize as they are again being abused by the government, legal system and crazy ass white people with guns. What the hell is wrong with people. Internal reviews by cops. O;K, Lets have internal reviews by criminals as that is what most videos reveal cops are.
I am so upset. I would hate cops and white people if I were a person of color. Where the hell is Eric Holder. No government agency should police itsef. NONE

Anonymous said...

I challenge Indy Rob: Indy Rob the choke hold of a violent criminal much larger than you would appear reasonable under the would using a weapon to overcome greater violence attacking you.

Tell us, Oh Learned Indy Rob: What law makes it illegal??? -I submit you are lying and there is no such law that makes it illegal because when confronted with deadly force by a much larger person, one must use greater force to defend themselves.

The officers made it known they were going to arrest the criminal, the criminal made it known he was not going to allow that. I do NOT expect police to walk away from a criminal in the commission of a crime. They were there for a lawful purpose and should arrest the criminal to perform their duty.

The obese criminal's choice to use violence to resist...had consequences.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Fat Albert should have complied with the officer's lawful commands and fought the legality of his arrest in a court room with the assistance of legal counsel instead of the sidewalk.

That or maybe he could have at least trained a little, lost some weight and brushed up on some ground fighting skills before resisting arrest.

Personal responsibility nowadays doesn't seem to exist and people think they can do whatever they want because they deem this law or that law to be draconian.

blah blah blah

Common sense said...

Not once did the man kick at or punch at the officers. In fact if you watch the video he keeps his hand up and open (not even closed fist) in view of the officers. So they could see he wasn't actually fighting them. If he was going to really try and resist arrest I'm sure he would could have put up some sort of a stronger fight if he really wanted to. Even if he had some sort of ailment. Even if it was a punch or two, but he didn't. Not that anyone should try to resist officers commands. It's the officers job as professionals to asses the situation as it changes. And the person they are dealing with on an individual basis. That is if your using common sense. Having said that once someone starts saying they can't breath the officers should have become attentive of that fact. You do hear one of the offers alright he's down, then when he's told to give them his hand he has it open and extended out. And you hear the same officer say get off of him. At least he could tell they were in control and he wasn't a threat. But the one officer was overly aggressive. Listen to the audio. It's pretty basic