Eric Garner

Cops Have Ugly, Unsympathetic Reaction to NYPD Choking Victim

"Those are your police, America."

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Eric Garner
Sylon R / Youtube

If their anonymous postings on police forums are any indication, law enforcement officers are deeply unsympathetic to Eric Garner, the 43-year-old man who was choked to death by the New York Police Department last week.

The death of Garner at the hands of the police—who approached him for selling cigarettes, tackled him, and put him in a chokehold that sent him into cardiac arrest and killed him—has provoked an outcry from a city weary of seemingly incessant police brutality. But as New York Magazine notes, many cops are rationalizing the treatment of Garner in online postings.

Though anonymous, these reactions do belong to actual cops, since participation at PoliceOne requires law enforcement identification, according to New York Magazine:

In internet communities for law enforcement, like PoliceOne.com, "the One resource for Law Enforcement online," and Thee Rant, an NYPD message board, the Garner story has stirred up racial, political, and professional tensions, most of them quite ugly. While all of the comments below are anonymous, and therefore not verifiable, both sites do require registration for membership ("No ID card, No Approval!"says Thee Rant). By no means a comprehensive view of law-enforcement feelings about the incident, the postings do provide a different — if beyond upsetting — perspective.

Here is a sampling of the cop comments at PoliceOne:

reltubs3314:

Anytime a person says "I'm tired of it. It stops today." That will almost always end with the use of force. He made that decision, not the Police. The Police must effect the arrest and rise above any resistance. That resistance or lack of resistance is determined by the suspect. This was a huge man and it appears to me they used minimal force. Sometimes people with pre-existing conditions die when they exert themselves. There are Police Officers that have heart attacks and die every year during physical altercations with subjects. You will not see main stream media featuring those in their headlines. This is nothing more than petty blame shifting and fuel for extremist with an agenda. 

joe hoffman:

"This makes all cops look bad because, as far as the public is concerned, this man was murdered because he sold some cigarettes."

In the first place, if it turns out that the force used by the officers was legal and within departmental policy, it doesn't make ANY other cop look bad. If the public isn't willing to accept the fact that the officers did nothing wrong, they can go to hell. I could care less how the public perceives us when we're in the right and if YOU were any kind of law enforcement professional, you would understand that officer safety is FAR more important than public perception.

SAPDMAS:

Again if Mr walking heart attack had simply put his hamburger shovels behind his back, he wouldn't have had a heartbattackmfor over exerting himself. The NYPD did absolutely nothing wron. Tomthe guys slamming these NYPD officekrs, I and many here wouldn't want any of you guys around us on a critical,incident. Hopefully you guys are desk jockeys.

As former Reason editor Mike Riggs noted on Twitter, "Go to any online forum that serves police officers, find the Eric Garner story, and read the comments. Those are your police, America."

Online commenters are not necessarily representative of an entire group of civil servants, of course. But the people who wrote those things work in law enforcement somewhere—and they bring their ugly perspective on police brutality with them to the job.

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  1. sloopy gets no hat tip?

    hHe has waded into that septic tank for a long time, showing it to the rest of us out here…

    1. ::grumble grumble::

    2. sloopy’s hat tip will come in the mail. With a complimentary jar of artisanal mayonnaise.

      1. I’d say it’s more likely to be served by some VA SWAT team.

        1. They could fire jars of artisanal mayo instead of bean bags!

    3. I posted the ones from TheeRant a couple of days ago. Fuck sloopy. I want a hat tip.

      It’s noooo faiiiir! ::stomps feet and whines::

      1. True… you should get one for that sewer diving trip too.

  2. As former Reason editor Mike Riggs noted on Twitter, “Go to any online forum that serves police officers, find the Eric Garner story, and read the comments. Those are your police, America.”

    But for your own safety, for the love of God, invest in one of these before you do.

    1. Charmian Neary ?@CharmianNeary Jul 21

      @MikeRiggs You’re not being fair using comments of an online forum to tar 40,000+ NYPD? who are black & brown & female more than ever today.

      1. Not fair to publicize the cops’ own comments on the matter. Sure.

      2. I hear that black, brown, and female people are incapable of corruption!

      3. Ok that guy’s tweet confuses me, what does the race and sex of a police officer have to do with police brutality?

        1. Because that means they’re not racist, so they can’t have mistreated a black guy. Or something, I’m just guessing at trying to translate the derp.

      4. who are black & brown & female more than ever today.

        So? Being “black”, “brown”, or “female” isn’t a preclusion from being a functionally illiterate, hyper-violent, thuggish, baboon-human hybrid psychopath with an unwarranted sense of entitlement.

        1. Stop insulting baboons.

          1. Did you ever see “in the shadow of kilimanjaro”? It will change your perception of baboons.

      5. Charmian Neary
        @CharmianNeary

        Bored housewife

        Go on…

        1. She’s a Yankees fan. Not even Warty should go there.

      6. who are black & brown & female more than ever today

        The color of their skin or their gender has fuck all to do with them being despicable assholes, how, exactly?

  3. Online commenters are not necessarily representative of an entire group of civil servants, of course

    No, but the fact that no cops will arrest their fellows for heinous and illegal behavior is necessarily representative of an entire group of civil “servants”.

    1. ^^This^^

      All too often we accept the words of a police chief when an officer goes berserker and the chief says “this is not indicative of our department.” Really? Then why did none of the other seven officers on scene step in and tackle him while he beat that black kid to death?

      1. That black “kid” weighed at least 250. Nothing “kid” about that “kid.”

        Excessive force had to be used. He jumped that dude and crushed his neck.

        1. I’m sorry. I forgot that you lose your rights once you exceed 200 pounds!

          1. You lose your rights whenever you fail to bend knee to the King’s Men.

          2. Hey, the officers went home safe that night. That’s all that matters for our brave civil servants.

          3. Oh, shit. My sarcasm was lost. This was a huge dude. A huge effort needed to be put forth to kill him. That was my point. This was no wallflower bullshit. This guy got jumped, attacked, and murdered.

            That was my point. Peace.

            1. My b 🙂

              1. No sweat, mang. These fucking murderers need jail time. 🙂

      2. It’s the few bad apples that make it look bad for the remaining 1%.

    2. And there is the problem you can’t call the police to go after the police.

    3. the fact that no cops will arrest their fellows for heinous and illegal behavior

      To Protect and To Serve…their own interests.

      1. To Protect and To Serve…their own interests.

        And the city/town council. The people? Fuck them.

        1. Imposing the states will, through sanctioned violence (& murder) is the name of their game. All other concerns are secondary, at best. Everybody here represents a walking, talking ATM and past due balance sheet in the state’s eyes, and those Heroes In Blue? are there to collect… Fuck you, and your rights if you stand between the state and your their money.

      2. Well, a few will. But we know what happens to them, don’t we?

        1. The Serpico treatment.

    4. The whole point of being a cop is being able to do whatever you want, because who’s going to stop you? The cops?

  4. Don’t you guys all miss Dunphy and his colorful posts?

    1. He probably would have marveled at the “take down” of Mr. Garner.

    2. I do. He was a troll, but he was a much more honest troll than Shrike and Tony.

    3. I do miss the smooches. 🙁

      1. surfing while doing mrogan fairchild after winning a body building copetition.

  5. Well come on, of course they aren’t sympathetic. You don’t go into that line of work because you’re looking for a quiet life. You go into it because you want to fuck shit up and get away with it.

    Same with army or marine infantry. I don’t know why anyone is surprised when an 18 year old testosterone filled kid with anger issues is overly aggressive.

    1. Would that our police follow the same ROEs as our infantrymen!

      1. Yes why can’t our soldiers act like soldiers, and our police act like police, instead of the other way around?

        Soldiers are more restricted in the use of force overseas then police are in our own neighborhoods.

        1. Soldiers are more restricted in the use of force overseas then police are in our own neighborhoods.

          And increasingly issued the same kit.

      2. Pretty sad that soldiers in a war zone show more restraint and respect for people’s rights than American cops do for American citizens.

        1. I think you’d be surprised. The pictures my buddy showed me of Afghanistan could probably get him and half his unit thrown in jail.

          1. The point being that equal malfeasance on the part of cops would likely go unpunished.

            1. Oh, absolutely. No arguments here

          2. The pictures my buddy showed me of Afghanistan could probably get him and half his unit thrown in jail.

            Yet all a cop here in the USA would get is a paid vacation while an “investigation” is conducted to excuse and sweep any wrong doing under the rug.

          3. And if he was under my command, I would have had his ass run up a flag pole and used for target practice.

            I tolerated nothing. Nobody in my chain of command, up or down did wither – sounds like your friend is a real winner.

            1. He’s a dirtbag.

              1. And yet he’s still your buddy despite being a dirtbag?

                1. You don’t have any friends who are dirtbags? Lucky you!

                  1. That would do something that would generate blaring headlines of war crimes/corpse desecration/etc….no.

      3. You mean shoot anything with a turban?

        1. It’s amazing that your attempt to paint the average American solider as a murderous bigot only reveals you as a pig-ignorant Islamophobe.

          Unless we’re now at war with the Skihs and no one told me.

          1. And I don’t know what a pig-ignorant islamaphobe is, let alone a “Skih”

        2. HM was talking about the real world. Not your fantasy.

        3. apologies for my attempt at humor 😉

        4. That’s some weak tea there…

    2. John Kerry was right in 2006 when admonishing those students to study lest they be cannon fodder.

      Only losers join state sponsored military or paramilitary organizations. Period. No exceptions.

      Why is one a loser for joining a state sponsored military or paramilitary organization?

      (1) You can’t hack it in the private, productive sector.

      (2) Like all other public sector actors, you are choosing to be a parasite who is not furnishing any good or service upon a voluntary, consensual basis.

      (3) You want to initiate violence against others who have not harmed you.

      (4) You want to murder.

      (5) You lack the stones to be truly independent.

      (6) You need to be told what to do by some other parasite.

      (7) You lack the stones to fight other than when backed by a trillion dollar a year behemoth.

      And on and on and on……….

      1. To serve and protect? No? Not even a little bit?

        Unfortunately, I believe you’re right, LM…

      2. This is a stupid list. Only a Rothtard could botch it like this.

      3. Well, I was National Guard, and I suspect you don’t know too many folks that are.

        1) doing quite well, thanks.

        2) seemed to be some demand for what I did in 1992, 1997, 2005, 2011… (hint – not war stuff)

        3) on the contrary – PID before even using force.

        4) Nope.

        5) I was no “Army of One” if that is what you mean…

        6) Need? Nope. You must be an awesome employee…

        7) So I am supposed to join the Chadian Army to “even the score”?

        I understand you have a fierce rage against anyone and anything with a uniform (God help the UPS dude trying to deliver to you) but you can find libertarians almost anywhere.

        1. +1

          That’ll cover it. I was going to be somewhat less civil. thx

          1. Why? Being free necessarily means not being a military piece of shit.

          2. Go for it, F d’A…civility seems to have earned naught but epithets.

        2. Actually, I do know many former military, including National Guard. In fact, a significant minority of such folk regret that they ever joined the military.

          You appear to be claiming that your NG pay was a product of the free market when you know damn well that it is only through the confiscation of the property of others that you were paid.

          Army of One? My point in number 5 is that one is not brave, much less a hero, because one joins the biggest, baddest gang.

          Regarding your last point, I do have a “fierce rage” against cops and soldiers, but not UPS delivery guys or Fed Ex delivery guys or Publix employees or restaurant wait staff. To the extent that you claim to know of which I write, why would you deliberately conflate private sector uniform wearers with those in the public sector?

          1. You are coming across as a bigoted, broad brush painting generalist. You also missed the humor in your rage (“Army of One” was the most ridiculed and despised slogan the Army ever came up with, and nobody is going to confuse a delivery guy with a governmental agent – lighten up, Francis).

            Anyone in any kind of police, fire, military or other governmental aparat is of course paid with tax dollars. You are arguing that absolutely nobody paid with a tax dollar is in any way legitimately earning that money. If you are an anarchist, I can see that being a principled point, but I am more of a minarchist – so I like think the sandbagging, rescue work, looter stopping, etc for far less than my civilian job which I was pulled away from, was earned.

            I must have missed the part where I claimed bravery for joining. In fact, I would ask you to cite me saying anything about my own bravery in any place, time or activity.

            In short, you claim to know that millions of men and thousands of women are all murderers in their hearts, slavering for the opportunity to behave like modern day a Jenghis Khan. I think it fairly silly.

            1. You did not miss any part about you claiming bravery for joining – nor was that a part of my original post.

              My response to your post regarding point 5 (no, I did not miss the humor)(btw, you can check the 7 years in which I have been a regular here and you will see that humor is not an attribute I lack)was intended to clarify it. I did not accuse you of asserting that you were brave for joining.

              My observations about cops and military personnel are borne of reality. Not made up, imaginary or speculative. What should an anarcho-free enterprise-individualist think of those who join up to violate the NAP?

  6. And these same cops would likely be surprised that they’d be the first ones swinging from the lamp posts if things ever got really ugly….

  7. Well, sometimes there is justice and sometimes there is JustUs…

  8. I’m not anti-cop. Yes, I hate cops, but I’m not anti-cop. We need people to enforce the law. The problem is not so much the cops, but the piles and piles of unjust laws that they so zealously enforce. If the sale of untaxed loose cigarettes was not a crime, then this guy might still be alive.

    When laws unjustly criminalize behavior that does not harm the life, liberty or property of other citizens, then the law itself harms the life, liberty and property of other citizens.

    When the law is just, then the average person need not fear the enforcers. Unfortunately the law is not just, and the enforcers are to be feared.

    1. No, the public sector enforcer, per se, is an evil, parasitic piece of slime who chooses to be a parasite instead of providing a good or service upon a voluntary, consensual basis.

      1. Enforcing just laws is a valuable service to society.

        Unfortunately the vast majority of laws are unjust.

        1. First sentence would be correct if those who are to be enforced freely and voluntarily furnished their consent to be governed by such laws and if the enforcer’s compensation was not the product of confiscation.

          Second sentence would be correct if you substitute “almost all” to replace “vast majority”.

          1. First sentence would be correct if those who are to be enforced freely and voluntarily furnished their consent to be governed by such laws and if the enforcer’s compensation was not the product of confiscation.

            Leave us out of your anarchist ‘grand vision’. I don’t want to live in Somalia.

            1. Nice invocation of “Somalia” – cause we’re one, small step from there in Canada and the US, eh?

              1. You know you are dealing with a neocon lightweight when they invoke “Somalia” as if that is kryptonite to anarchism.

                See, Cyto wants to be a slave.

                1. See, Cyto wants to be a slave.

                  No, he accepts reality. You do not.

          2. What happens when you pay security company X, and the guy who robbed you pays security company Y? Then when security company X goes to apprehend the robber, security company Y steps in to protect him. Sorry, but anarchy doesn’t even work on paper.

            1. Yet rule by nation states and monopoly government has yielded what, at least several hundred million murders in the last 150 years – committed by, and in the name of, the nation state.

              1. Death and taxes.

                1. Check and mate.

                  Real world=hundreds of millions slaughtered by nation states.

                  Speculation=anarchy doesn’t work, even on paper.

                  1. Speculation=anarchy doesn’t work, even on paper.

                    In the real world there will always be a group of men with the last word in violence withing a given geographical area. That’s just how it works. Sure, there can be competing security agencies, but they will come into conflict. Like when you pay company X and the guy who robbed you pays company Y. Then what? It has to end with some agency coming out on top. Basically by putting the competition out of business (killing them). Then you’ve got one security agency with the last word in violence, otherwise known as government. That’s reality. It sucks, but that’s how the world works.

                    I don’t like it, but I accept it.

                    1. Sarc, I made this point about 4 years ago and LM laughed then. If there are two or more people on an island there is government. Anarchy is not real. Like Communism. Sure, you can put vice grips on an economy but a black market is still a market. And the trade is favors is still trade.

            2. Maybe what we have now is anarchy. What you describe pretty much happens now, an obvious example being police refusing to arrest or punish other police for their crimes.

    2. I wonder if part of these actions are driven by quotas. You have to make so many arrests or whatever every year.

      So the cops make all the ‘easy’ arrests they can instead of focusing on real police work.

    3. These incidences are a teachable moment. The next time someone says “we need a law to…” point out this incidence and ask them if they really want to bring this level of violence against someone to prevent them from doing X?

      In a weird way the police might be helping the libertarian movement because their disgusting excessive use of violence might make people rethink the need for so many petty laws.

    4. When the law is just, then the average person need not fear the enforcers.

      I disagree. Even when the police are ostensibly enforcing a law that protects people from harm by others, they can be raging psychopaths who use disproportionate force and often use it against the wrong person.

      1. I’d like to believe that raging psychopaths would not be attracted to police work if the laws were just. As it is, with all the unjust laws that we have, raging psychopaths gravitate to the job because it gives them an excuse to harm basically anyone, since it is practically impossible to go through the day without breaking a myriad of unjust laws. Thus a raging psychopath cop can pick someone they don’t like, watch them long enough, and then have an excuse to let out their rage.

        1. I think fewer cops would be required, so the psychos wouldn’t get hired so much.

          1. Exactly.

          2. You would also have to break up the unions so that when they do hire a psychopath or dumb shit, they can fire his ass.

          3. To me, the issue isn’t so much hiring an individual who is a psychopath when they first don the badge.

            The issue is that the job encourages psychopathic behavior, and transforms otherwise peaceful (and possibly well-intentioned) people into PoliceOne commenters. The Stanford prison experiment showed this effect in action.

            1. The issue is that the job encourages psychopathic behavior, and transforms otherwise peaceful (and possibly well-intentioned) people into PoliceOne commenters.

              I disagree. Power is a magnet for the corrupt. Good people aren’t transformed into monsters. Monsters are born that way.

              1. Agreed that power is a magnet for the corrupt.

                But can’t disagree more that good people aren’t transformed. The Stanford prison experiment is just one example. Any good infantryman’s account of war includes stories of initially good men performing atrocities that would shock the folks back home. Inhuman experience begets inhuman behavior.

  9. In the immortal words of N.W.A. : Fuck Tha Police

  10. If the military can have fair court martials conducted by people “who weren’t there” then Citizen Police Review Boards can fairly determine excessive use of force in cases such as this.

    1. Except that no one except ex-cops, police union reps, and their family members are allowed on those Boards. The result is a rubber stamp.

      1. The result is soldiers in warzone with people actually shooting back at them are held accountable for their actions, while a cop beating an unarmed man to death is not.

    2. Excessive use of force is a crime.

      Why do we need CRBs to look at potentially criminal actions of cops at all? Why aren’t they sent straight to the cops pals at the DA’s office?

      Oh. Never mind.

  11. “He made that decision, not the Police.”

    How can anyone possibly be that stupid?

    1. It takes a village…

    2. That’s how the police cheerfully justify every brutal act that they commit.

      “If he had obeyed like a good peasant, this would not have happened. He chose not to obey, so we were forced to kill him. He did it, not us.”

      1. Just like that stupid toddler getting his face in the way of the flashbang. And the guy who may or may not have been a suspect that led the cops to flashbang the wrong house in the first place. It was HIS fault that kid got face-flashbanged. And the kid’s, for being there at all.

        Not the cops.

        1. The family should have known better than to shack up at a drug dealer’s house. They deserved whatever they got.

          1. exactly

    3. You haven’t met too many cops, I take it.

  12. I could care less how the public perceives us

    Which really is:

    I could care less how our employers whom we have sworn to protect and serve perceive us.

    1. Their employers are the city/town council. They view the public as their servants.

      1. While their employers are the city/town council, their bosses are the union.

      2. “Rein in the police?! My opponent in the next election would paint me as pro-crime!”

        1. The times are a changing…

          1. Except that people will try to treat the symptom, not the cause. The cause isn’t that police forces hire psychopaths, it’s that psychopaths are attracted to the job of enforcing unjust laws. Unjust laws are the cause. Psychopathic cops are a symptom.

            1. Let’s see, didn’t you just get through admonishing me to “accept reality” like Cyto?

              Well, reality dictates that you can’t reform the beast. You have to (a) turn your back on it and (b) if that is not enough, you have to kill it.

              Accept it.

              1. Well, reality dictates that you can’t reform the beast.

                I never said you could. As long as the incentives are to create new laws instead of repealing bad ones, this is what you get.

                You have to (a) turn your back on it and (b) if that is not enough, you have to kill it.

                And then deal with whatever takes its place. Which could be worse.

                1. “which COULD (emphasis added) be worse”

                  There you go again with the speculation 🙂

                  1. It’s cute that you think human nature is going to magically change and we’re going to be able to rid ourselves of the Elizabeth Warren’s and Harry Reid’s and John Boehner’s of the world to usher in any kind of sane anarchy.

                    I guess we can always hold out hope that we will.

                    1. Actually, human nature being what it is, anarchy is a much better bet than rule by nation state – if your objective is to avoid hundreds of millions being slaughtered.

                    2. I read something about some tribal guy from New Guinea who said that government was nice, because it meant he didn’t have to worry about an arrow in the chest when he went outside to take a leak.

                    3. At least he doesn’t have to worry about stop and frisk or DWB or officer safety.

  13. But 99% of police are honest, sympathetic public servants, and we just never hear about all the wonderful things they do because they are so common. Right, Lynchpin?

  14. If you want to get a bit meta, the cops on TheeRant posted a thread about having an article written about them. In it, they prove to be even bigger pieces of shit than I already thought they were.

    Bonus: Non-ironic usage of the “I’m gonna kick your ass and get away with it” pic.

    http://theerant.yuku.com/topic…..9AJno1dXQ9

  15. “In the first place, if it turns out that the force used by the officers was legal and within departmental policy, it doesn’t make ANY other cop look bad. If the public isn’t willing to accept the fact that the officers did nothing wrong, they can go to hell.”

    No, YOU can go to hell when you ask for early retirement and a fat guaranteed pension on the taxpayer – the very people you told to go to hell.

    Piece of shit.

    1. “…within departmental policy…” Yes, I know that this is quote mining and absurd-em, effectively if it is departmental policy to shoot 3 people on the way to work its OK by this cop?

  16. Just before the choke hold, he had his hands in the air. How is that resisting?

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