We are, by now, all familiar with the case of Eric Garner, who died after being put into a choke hold by a New York City policeman. Using a choke hold is against departmental policy, Garner’s alleged infraction was minor, and he was unarmed. So the police officers used excessive force, in my opinion, and should be removed from the police force at a minimum. Since the ME declared Garner’s death a homicide, the cop who put him in a choke hold may be tried for manslaughter.
We should realize that most cops use remarkable restraint given what they have to deal with on a daily basis. But occasionally either a cop’s emotions will get the better of him or he’s just a bad apple. Regardless of the motivation in this case, a man needlessly died.
In a suspicious twist to this case, just the other day the guy who recorded the take-down and death of Garner was arrested on a gun charge. It really makes me wonder if he was set up. I hope his case is thoroughly investigated because it seems mighty suspicious to me.
Treatment of Police
Much of the problem with police confrontations is that people often mouth off at the cops or resist arrest. If you don’t want things to turn nasty, show some respect if stopped by the police, even if you feel you’ve been unfairly stopped, questioned, or told to move on. It’s a lot better than being arrested and hauled off to jail.
Community leaders and others lament the violence in their neighborhoods and rightfully so. They complain the police aren’t doing enough. Yet the police are treated poorly by these very same people, even though they are putting their lives on the line every day. A little respect and cooperation from the neighborhood will go a long way.