I am running out of ways to introduce this kind of story. Were you a cop or a police apologist who thought Eric Garner should've just fucking complied with police if he wanted to live? Did you think Jahmiel Cuffee should've known better after his first eight marijuana arrests and done a better job hiding it from cops? Well, this story involves a pregnant woman, who was put in a chokehold by New York City cops, because she was grilling in front of her house. Via the New York Post:
A seven-months pregnant woman released photos on Monday that she said show an NYPD cop putting her in a chokehold after officers accused her and her family of illegally grilling on the sidewalk.
The images, pulled from a cell phone video of the incident, shows what appears to be an officer with his arm around the throat of Rosan Miller, 27, as he tried to place her under arrest.
Chokeholds are banned by the NYPD and cops may consider the maneuver used a "neck restraint."
At a press conference earlier today New York City's mayor, Democrat Bill De Blasio, said that "the law is the law" and that the NYPD would continue to strictly enforce petty laws like the ones that led to this pregnant woman's brutal encounter with police and Garner's. Bill Bratton, the city's police commissioner, added that respecting police and correcting your behavior when they engage you is what democracy's all about.
By no means are the stories of alleged NYPD abuse highlighted here at Reason a comprehensive account of all the police brutality that happens in New York City—a lot of these stories never make the news. I had a friend who claimed years ago local cops beat him up but because of his criminal record didn't feel comfortable complaining.
I've had unpleasant encounters with police where I felt my rights were violated but have been spared being their victim. My parents, who grew up in Communist Poland, always taught me that when interacting with police I should be be polite, avoid eye contact, avoid volunteering information, and attempt to end the interaction as quickly as possible. This was advice they accumulated from decades of living under communist rule. Facing assault, and even death, for failing to comply with authorities, that's what totalitarianism was about, not democracy.