Police Abuse

Eric Garner's Daughter Blasts Bill de Blasio For Not Releasing Cop's Records

You can change politicians all you want, if you don't change the laws the laws don't change.


Disney/ABC Television via flickr

Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner, who died in Staten Island in 2014 after New York City police officers put him in an illegal chokehold while trying to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, lashed out against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio after the mayor said he could not release the records of Daniel Pantaleo, one of the officers involved in Garner's death.

"Just cause you love Black pussy don't mean you love Black lives," Garner tweeted, cc'ing de Blasio's twitter account. Garner went further, tweeting thatde Blasio had "pimped" his multi-racial son's afro "all the way to City Hall."

But de Blasio's personal feelings about black people, or the make-up of his family (his wife is black) are not relevant to the issues preventing what Erica Garner believes would be "justice" for her father. De Blasio has, indeed, supported a slew of policies that adversely affect poor and minority communities, especially when it comes to law enforcement. But there's no evidence that someone like BIll Thompson, a former black mayoral candidate who Garner tweeted approvingly of, would support substantively different policies. After all, support for "quality of life" laws and strong public unions that protect bad cops and other bad actors are baked into progressivism, white or black.

De Blasio says he could not release Pantaleo's records because of a state civil rights law that prohibits it. According to the New York Daily News, the law had been ignored by the NYPD for 30 years before the city changed its interpretation. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), no fan of his fellow Democrat de Blasio, also argued the law never stopped records releases before. De Blasio is even appealing a judge's ruling that the records could be released.

Laws protecting the records of public servants shouldn't simply be ignored, they should be repealed, as should the slew of job protections they are accorded, the kind of protections that make it nearly impossible for the NYPD to fire a cop like Pantaleo even if they wanted to. Bad cops are protected primarily not because of racist politicians or police commissioners, but because of laws that provide undue protection for their jobs, making termination a difficult and costly, if not impossible, proposition. Focusing on whether elected officials are racist or not distracts from the important work of repealing the laws and union contracts that protect bad cops and other initiatives like those championed by Black Lives Matter's Campaign Zero.

"God has a way of exposing fraud," Erica Garner tweeted. Eric Garner's mother, meanwhile, endorsed Hillary Clinton, who helped push law and order policies, called blacks "super predators," has rarely found a law that she didn't think needed strict enforcement (except, of course, the laws that would apply to her), and is a committed advocate and defender of public unions that have gotten just the kind of rules that protect Pantaleo's records and employment on the books in the first place.

h/t Ken C