Police Abuse

Eric Garner's Daughter Blasts Clinton Campaign for Trying to Tie Police Violence to Gun Violence

Politicians would rather hew to their preferred talking points than engaging issues.

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DisneyABC/flickr

Hillary Clinton campaign staffers discussed shoehorning Eric Garner—killed by police who were trying to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes—into a New York Daily News op-ed on gun control and separately that Garner deserved punishment but not death for his actions, the latest batch of John Podesta emails released by Wikileaks reveal.

In a series of tweets, Garner's daughter Erica said she'd be interested in knowing what staffer Corey Ciorciari meant when he said the campaign had an "Erica Garner problem" and what the campaign had to say about Podesta and Clinton previously saying they believed Garner deserved punishment, and why the campaign would discuss "using" her father.

Elsewhere on her Twitter timeline, Garner seems to know the answer. She points out Democrats feel entitled to black votes just because they're Democrats. She tweeted that people are told they "must vote" but can't vote third party or abstain because that's a trump vote. "so then u tell me then," she concluded.

Discussions within the Clinton campaign about using Garner to promote gun control should not be surprising, and neither should the silence from the Clinton campaign. As Erica Garner noted, Democrats feel entitled to black votes. The strategy to tie police violence to gun violence is also an old Democratic strategy, formed relatively quickly after police brutality entered the national discourse in 2014. Few Democratic politicians have been able to grapple with the problem of police brutality without falling on standard talking points on gun violence (or more government spending). At the Democratic National Convention, the party brought together mothers of victims of police violence and gun violence. The tactic is not far off conceptually from Republicans who try to rope in black-on-black violence to discussions of police brutality.

The problem of police brutality is primarily a problem of state-sponsored violence. For that reason, more than any others, comparisons to private violence, be it white-on-black, black-on-black, black-on-white, whatever, are unhelpful and irrelevant. Police officers and other law enforcement officials and armed government agents operate on behalf of and with the authority of the state behind them, placing them in practice in a separate class from other citizens in the criminal justice system. As if this were not enough, pro-union liberals and nominally anti-union conservatives have spent the last half century plus building a robust set of privileges for law enforcement officials.

So-called Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights, pioneered in Maryland in the early 1970s, have now become universal, and are in addition to specific privileges police unions carve out for cops in collective bargaining agreements. Such agreements are not the product of any substantive bargaining—after all, the government and government workers are practically the same institution, democratic accoutrements notwithstanding. As Black Lives Matter's Campaign Zero highlights in its police union contract tracking project, privileges that have the effect of normalizing police violence and thwarting efforts at accountability or transparency exist in contracts all over the country, largely irrespective of the make-up of the particular government negotiating with the government.

The almost total lack of substantive engagement of the problem of police brutality on the national stage outside of cheap attempts to co-opt the issue for a pre-existing partisan agenda is a feature of the system of identity politics as electoral strategy, leaving as it does large swaths of the country unnecessary for either party to engage meaningfully, while each side does its best to offer the other fodder for the kind of fearmongering that can suppress the urge to look elsewhere for political solutions.

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  1. In a series of tweets, Garner’s daughter Erica said she’d be interested in knowing what staffer Corey Ciorciari meant when he said the campaign had an “Erica Garner problem”

    “This crazy Negress won’t stay on the plantation!”

    1. That’s it exactly. Dems are entitled to black votes, dammit.

    2. Ms. Garner should bring out Cindy Sheehan and make them really uncomfortable.

  2. I’m not sure how much of the black vote the Dems have locked up this time around. I think it’s less than they might believe. I don’t know if that translates to Trump (or Johnson, or Stein) votes, but I do think it could result in people who typically vote Dem staying home this round.

    1. The majority of disaffected, traditionally democrat-voting black voters will stay home. Which explains why the Obamas are campaigning so hard for Clinton, to try to keep turnout up. While there is no love lost between the Obamas and Clintons, President HR Clinton would polish the reputation of President Obama; President Trump, not so much.

      1. That’s amazing to me. Like fifteen years ago I took a part-time job at a Barnes & Noble. Some book by or about Bill Clinton had just come out, and as we walked past on our little orientation tour the very nice black lady who was the store manager laid a hand gently on the cover and said, “That’s still MY president.”

        Bill Clinton entered the pantheon with JFK and FDR. That Hillary can’t coast on her relationship to Bill with black Americans goes to show just how unlikable and how untrustworthy people find her. This election, man… I’m not so sure that the polls are telling the real story here.

        1. Yeah, take a look at some of Erica’s responses on twitter. Representative sample?

          1. Wow, man, that was more anti-Clinton than I was expecting. It’s a shame that there’s so much Stein support there, but whatever. It’s not Hillary; I’ll take it.

    2. I do think it could result in people who typically vote Dem staying home this round.

      Most likely this.

      1. Yet another lie from Barack Obama: Hillary is NOT “likable enough.”

      2. I think it might turn out to be one of those things where that whole “likely voters” thing is way, way off. A bunch of people will vote Clinton because they’re yellow dog Democrats, and I’ll bet a fair number will vote Clinton because they’re horrified by Trump, but I’ll also bet that a good number of people who told some rando cold-caller that they were planning on voting for Hillary won’t necessarily be motivated to go and actually do that. On the other end, I think there are more people willing to vote for Trump to keep Hillary out of office than the reverse. I still think that might be enough to bridge the current polling gap.

  3. As Erica Garner noted, Democrats feel entitled to black votes.

    Democrats haven’t been proven wrong in that yet.

    Police violence happens because we’ve given police so many excuses – hell, demands – to interact with the public. We know it’s because of everything must be regulated and revenue must be generated. And the poor get the lion share of the attention. Democrat leaders in cities, states and DC are just as guilty of creating that system as Republicans, if not more so.

    1. Well Dems certainly won’t tackle the union issue.

    2. As Erica Garner noted, Democrats feel entitled to black votes.

      Democrats haven’t been proven wrong in that yet.

      Being entitled and getting their votes are two different things
      /pedant

  4. The only solution to police violence is to reduce the amount of power that the police have, which is why neither party is eager to talk about the issue.

    1. Y COM U HAT MEN ADN WIMON OF LAW INFROCSEMAT

  5. “Hillary Clinton campaign staffers discussed shoehorning Eric Garner?killed by police who were trying to arrest him for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes?into a New York Daily News op-ed on gun control…”

    The Eric Garner case has absolutely zero, zip, nada to do with guns or gun control (except for the fact that police officers who choke innocent bystanders to death usually carry sidearms).

    This is stupid and mendacious even by Dem-talking-point standards.

    1. If Eric had been packing, just imagine how many holes he’d be filled with.

  6. The party that wants to give government agents a million reasons to enact violence on peaceful people can’t put together a coherent message on how to end police brutality. Shocking.

  7. Sorry wingers but the cops choking a black guy to death for selling untaxed cigs proves the need for common sense gun control.

    1. It’s so OBVIOUS.

    2. I am not sure how this got lost in the narrative, but Garner was not selling loose cigarettes that day. He was standing in a place where they had caught him doing it before, but he didn’t have cigarettes on him the day they killed him.

      1. Yeah, I expect this kind of sloppiness from mainstream outlets but I can’t figure out why Reason keeps repeating this falsehood when they certainly know better. And when the reality looks even more statist and corrupt (he was choked to death for contempt of cop).

      2. Garner was not selling loose cigarettes that day. He was standing in a place where they had caught him doing it before, but he didn’t have cigarettes on him the day they killed him.

        Huh… I hadn’t heard that before. I’ve always heard that was selling loosies, which shouldn’t be a crime in the first place*, but now it seems they killed himsimply for not respecting their AUTHORITAY.

        *And let’s be real here, the only reason it’s a crime is because it deprives the State of precious tax revenue. Murder, robbery, rape – all the actual violent crimes that peasants are sometimes victims of – they could care less about that shit. but you deprive the State of one cent of “their money” (and as far as they’re concerned it’s all “their money”) and your ass is toast.

        1. AND Garner may have purchased a whole pack in New York before breaking it down to loosies. i.e. the tax may have been paid.

      3. Thx and sorry for not scrolling down before I posted…I was too annoyed

    1. Troglodyte

      (Fans of DJ Tone will also remember that this was the same guy who did the “Bertha Butt, one of the Butt sisters” song. Happy childhood memories.)

      1. +1 Supersound

      2. Bertha and her sisters.

        Betty
        Bella
        and
        Bathsheba Butt

    2. But I am the conspiracy nut for pointing out that the whole thing is a scam. There it is laid out in black and white.

    3. I love how there is a typo in the title of the document attached to the email. Top men.

  8. She tweeted that people are told they “must vote” but can’t vote third party or abstain because that’s a trump vote. “so then u tell me then,” she concluded.

    Whatever. I have it on lock that Hillary’s already got the election in the bag. Sure, upstate New York turns out to be GOP/Trump country but she’s campaigning in Texas, a classic GOP stronghold!

    1. Campaigning in Texas is an attempt to win the latino vote. There are a lot of traditionally-GOP latino voters who won’t vote for Trump. They aren’t enthused about Clinton so will most likely stay home or vote for McMullin, or possibly Johnson.

  9. He wasn’t being arrested for selling loosies. He was attacked and murdered for both obeying cops who were on the scene over an incident that had nothing to do with Garners prior sin of selling loosies.

    1. Disobeying. Damn

  10. Anyone have a loosie?

    *choked to death

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