Police Abuse

It Wasn't Just a Chokehold That Killed Eric Garner

His death resulted from a violent confrontation that never should have happened.


The dismissal of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, five years after he participated in the fatal arrest of Eric Garner, hinged on a second-by-second analysis of cellphone video showing him subduing the suspected cigarette seller, who was about the same height but weighed almost twice as much. An administrative judge concluded, and Police Commissioner James O'Neill agreed, that Pantaleo recklessly used a prohibited chokehold, applying pressure to Garner's neck in a way that inflicted injury and helped trigger an asthma attack.

The factors that led to Garner's death go beyond the misconduct of one officer, however. They include policies and practices that resulted in a violent confrontation that never should have happened.

Garner was arrested for selling cigarettes without paying the legally required excise taxes, which in New York City total nearly $6 a pack (not counting the standard sales tax of almost 9 percent). The cigarette tax in Virginia, by contrast, is 30 cents a pack.

By imposing excise taxes almost 20 times as high as those collected in a state that's a four-hour drive away, legislators invited the sort of entrepreneurial activity that got Garner into legal trouble. Something like half of the cigarettes sold in New York City are smuggled from lower-tax jurisdictions.

From Garner's perspective, he was performing a valued service for his neighbors by helping them avoid the country's heaviest cigarette taxes. From the city's perspective, he was depriving politicians of their cut, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 or up to a year in jail.

Given that sales of untaxed cigarettes are rampant in New York City, you might wonder why a small-time operator like Garner, who was arrested in March and May of 2014 before his final, fatal encounter with police that July, merited so much attention. As Rosemarie Maldonado, the deputy commissioner who oversaw Pantaleo's administrative trial, explained in her ruling, the obsession with Staten Island loosie dealers grew out of a March 2014 meeting at One Police Plaza "focusing on quality-of-life conditions."

At that meeting, Lt. Christopher Bannon of the 120th Precinct "was specifically tasked with addressing the illegal sale of untaxed cigarettes in the vicinity of 200 Bay Street, Staten Island, near Tompkinsville Park." It was Bannon who, after observing people "huddled" near the park on the afternoon of July 17, summoned the precinct's "quality-of-life coordinator," Officer Justin Damico, who arrived at the scene with Pantaleo.

The officers saw Garner, who was familiar to both of them, standing outside a beauty supply store on Bay Street, and Damico claimed he witnessed a cigarette sale. When confronted, Garner adamantly and repeatedly denied that he had been selling cigarettes that afternoon, saying he had just broken up a fight while hanging out with a friend—an account confirmed by two witnesses.

While Maldonado and O'Neill both faulted Garner for failing to "comply" with police orders, his resistance is understandable in light of his manifestly sincere anger at being busted for a crime he had not committed. "Who'd I sell a cigarette to?" he asked. "I didn't sell anything…. Every time you see me, you wanna harass me, you wanna stop me…. I'm minding my business, Officer."

As Garner saw it, the police were the aggressors in this situation, and all he did was resist their unprovoked assault on him. Even if you accept the premise that loosie sellers create a public nuisance, such violence clearly has a more severe impact on the "quality of life."

Damico and Pantaleo could have let Garner off with a warning, as Damico had done two weeks earlier after observing a cigarette sale, or they could have issued an appearance ticket instead of insisting on taking him into custody. A New York law enacted this year generally requires appearance tickets, rather than arrests, for misdemeanors.

If properly constrained, police would not only eschew especially dangerous restraint techniques. They would strive, first and foremost, to avoid violence unless it is necessary and proportionate.

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Another casualty in the democrat’s war on America, and freedom.

    1. Oh bullshit! Look at http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/ under “sheriff” (close as we get to “cop”). They tend “R”… Go around yelling slogans for more cops to get out there and abuse more black folks, and see whose support you get… “R” or “D”? You’re blaming your favorite scapegoats as usual here… NO attempts at fairness from YOU!

      1. Maybe true as a general statement of nationwide averages. Not at all true within big city police departments like the NYPD.

        1. Yeah, the assumption that the sheriff, of which there are usually a few handfuls per county at most adequately represents “cops” of which there are usually several dozen handfuls per county is pretty flagrantly dishonest. It’s almost like equating school board members or principles with all school employees.

          1. Gr… princiPALs not principles!

            1. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/13/republicans-more-likely-than-democrats-to-have-confidence-in-police/
              Republicans more likely than Democrats to have confidence in police

              Rah-rah, ree, kick ’em in the knee,
              Rah-rah, rass, kick ’em in the OTHER knee!

              Knee-jerk support of cops (and cops support of “R” party) is rampant, FAR more “R” than “D” entanglement between the party and the cops… Honest people have known this for a LONG time! Decades! Where have YOU been?

              1. Republicans more likely than Democrats to have confidence in police

                Which has almost literally nothing to do with what anyone was talking about.

                1. Shit-fer-Brains was blaming “D” party for police abuses here when the copsuckers are more likely to be “R” rated… Try reading at the beginning of the chain maybe? It might help you to see who (and what idea) is being shown to be full of shit…

                  Last of the Shitlords
                  August.21.2019 at 1:03 am
                  Another casualty in the democrat’s war on America, and freedom.

                  1. They are mostly city police, under the control and direction of demoncrap politicians, who make the policies, like making an arrest for being suspected of selling “loosies”, depriving said city of tax revenue..

          2. You would have to check if they were polling sheriffs or sheriff’s deputies. Technically, there is exactly 1 sheriff per county, but that sheriff might have many deputies.

      2. Shitlords is certifiably insane.

        Very few people here call him out on anything.

        Genocide, telling people to commit suicide, being a general psychopath… none of that matters because he supports the Republican party.

        Personal responsibility and Jesus!

        1. If you had principles, I might imagine you were calling him out on them.

      3. That’s why Democratic city leaders find them so useful in subduing their black constituency.

    2. That’s funny, just a couple of days ago Last of the Shitheels was talking about his eagerly-anticipated civil war, opining that cops would be on “his” “side” because they tend to be right-wing or whatever.

      I have no doubt he believes both statements, either. He’s evidently incapable of being honest or internally consistent even with himself.

  2. Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be in a cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

    1. For the assault….

      And I still haven’t heard any reasonable defense of probable cause for the arrest other than a simple assertion.

      It could be that he indeed was at that location for that purpose. That might be “his spot”. But I don’t think you can just walk up and tackle a scantily clad woman on the sidewalk absent further evidence either.

      1. You probably can if you are “saving” her from a “sex trafficking ring”

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  4. The last bit is the point that most people can relate to. They called the police to help with a fight, and the second they walked up they just started to arrest someone because they knew who he was.

    I’ll go ahead and blame that on performance quotas and compstat and how the management is using them – but it could just be lazy policing too.

    You can see from the video that it is unlikely that he witnessed anything – they are clearly waiting around for the police to show up, because they called the police. So standing there committing a crime in front of an officer who has busted you for that crime before seems a little silly.

    And his escalation to “you are under arrest” is zero to sixty in 2.1 seconds. No taking time to determine what is happening or who is there, just right to arresting Garner.

    And then their “resisting” charge is him holding his hands up and backing away saying he didn’t do anything – after the initial accusation. Which is exactly what any normal human being would do given the circumstance – whether he be a small-time hustler or a lawyer or an appeals court judge or the attorney general.

    They really didn’t leave any room for human interactions at all. This is what AG Barr was talking about – and he’s nuts. If you called the police and they started yelling that you were under arrest, you wouldn’t simply comply and let them toss you to the ground. You’d protest your innocence. Everyone would.

    Remember Obama’s buddy who was breaking in to his own house? Remember how the police were called out to check on a potential burglar? The officer took the time to determine what was happening, and then apologized and bid the guy good day….. and he couldn’t let that much go. He kept ranting after them and followed the officer into the front yard yelling at him. This was a professor, not a street thug.

    He got dragged through the mud for it, but that officer handled things pretty well, given the situation he was put in. He was confronted with a suspect actually appearing to do what he was reported as doing, and the officer didn’t tackle anyone. Nobody was shackled. But more importantly, it shows that any normal person is going to have at least a moment of “hey, what are you talking about?” if someone comes up to them and accuses them of a crime, particularly all out of context.

    Barr giving applause lines about just shut up and comply to police really doesn’t help things at all. (I could say the same thing for Obama accusing police of racism for doing what appears to be a fine job of investigating a complaint and not simply arresting someone at first sight)

    1. I’ll go ahead and blame that on performance quotas and compstat and how the management is using them – but it could just be lazy policing too.

      What’s the difference? By definition comparative statistics is not policing and quotas are how you torture it to look like policing.

    2. Can non verbal compliance be used as proof of guilt?

      How about self defense “duty to retreat” in jurisdictions that believe the axiom that flight is evidence of guilt? (Flight = guilt, the innocent aggrieved hang around to give a statement to responding officers, only the guilty run away.)

  5. And this is another example of how the #BLM folks are not helping the cause of police reform. They latched on to this case and labeled it racism.

    Anyone watching the video and hearing that they called the police about a fight and the police show up and throw the guy who broke up the fight on the ground is going to take the side of the guy who got tackled.

    But #BLM came running along and said it was because police are racist.

    And now the battle lines are drawn..

    Instead of abusive police practice and training vs. a free people, it is black victims vs racist white people.

    And then the battle is lost. Because even if you manage to convince most white people that they are evil and racist… then what?

    It is a dumb strategy from every angle. (well, every angle that aims to solve a problem anyway)

    1. BLM has destroyed any hope of police reform for at least a decade. By making police reform a choice between the cops and utter lawlessness, BLM might as well have been a false flag operation funded by the police unions. It is just more proof that leftists destroy anything they are associated with.

      1. By making police reform a choice between the cops and utter lawlessness

        I don’t even think its necessarily cops vs. lawlessness. For a lot of white people that want police reform, it makes the choice between supporting an unjust policing system vs. supporting reform AND accepting that all white people are racist and evil. It turns it into a lose-lose choice, which I think causes a lot of white people that would otherwise support reform to just disengage or dig in their heels and create a third camp that wants police reform but insists that most white people are not racist (therefore at odds with BLM), which only helps the police.

      2. Arrest yourself you paranoid racist fanatic. BLM supported anarchy? Why, I thought that was you guys.

        Anarchy for rich white Republicans. Even if they’re globally corrupt traitors.

        Strong law and order for poor black people. Same as it’s been for 400 years.

        1. *barf*

    2. Because even if you manage to convince most white people that they are evil and racist… then what?

      I have asked this question to so many of my lefty friends and no one can give me any answers beyond vague things like “then we can finally pursue equality and justice for those who have been wronged.”

      Like, wtf does that even mean?

      1. “Because even if you manage to convince most white people that they are evil and racist… then what?”

        So much this. I cant tell you how many times we (wife and I) get into arguments with our more liberal white-guilt friends about this shit. The dems wanting us to have some mea culpa and admit we are all racist devils and all have infinite privilege as the only reason we made it anywhere in life…then fucking what. How is that actually going to help your pathetic white-blaming life. They want to blame everyone else for their shitty lives, couldnt fathom that some white people are just nice people who work hard for what they have and want to be left alone.

        1. all have infinite privilege

          My question is who gave white people all this privilege. It seems to me crying white privilege is merely the obverse of white supremacy.

      2. People want to imagine that racism is the only problem, or the primary problem behind all the racial disparities. People like one dimensional analyses of complex problems. But even if you could somehow get rid of all racist attitudes, racial disparities in police interactions, poverty, etc. aren’t going to go away unless you deal with many other legal, social and cultural issues. Those problems may have been caused in large part by explicitly racist policies and social attitudes (though as I see it policies supposedly intended to help also contributed a lot), but that doesn’t mean that the problems go away if you make everyone acknowledge the racism. At this point I don’t think racism is really a significant contributor to the racial disparities we still see. But people want a simple answer. Preferably something it’s easy to get outraged about.

        1. I agree. I’m even willing to acknowledge that American slavery was uniquely racist in its application, that people (including Americans) in general have been racist historically, and some still are today. I’m also willing to admit that racist laws of the past have heavily contributed to the racial disparities that exist in America today. But acknowledging this (as many Americans now do) hasn’t caused anything to change because people wildly disagree on what should be done from a practical perspective. This is where shit breaks down. Some people just want the catharsis of continually being told “I’m sorry” or continually having to say “I’m sorry.” Some people want real forced cash/wealth transfers. Some people want to disband police departments. Some people want an end to the drug war. Some want more tax investment in these areas where it seems the population has given up hope.

          Things get really fuzzy when we get to specific policy proposals, and the most extreme wing of the people that acknowledge the above keep screaming for the most crazy proposals (lets have no police, lets confiscate shit and give it to other people based on race, lets force people out of their homes and move them to various neighborhoods, lets have quotas on hiring based on race, lets propose rent controls based on race) and drowning out the more reasonable policy proposals (lets get rid of the drug war, lets decouple school funding from local property taxes, lets loosen zoning restrictions and allow developers to build more housing, lets invest more heavily in poorer school systems, lets reform the defacto debtor prisons that is the current misdemeanor system, lets invest in drug prevention/recovery rather than enforcement).

          1. How was American slavery more racist than Spanish slavery in Mexico or Portuguese slavery in Brazil. WAY more slaves went to Brazil than America.

            1. My understanding is that American slavery was uniquely focused on race, while other forms of slavery, although just as abhorant, were more economically-focused and were less clear cut along the lines of “black? you’re a slave. White? You’re not a slave.”

              I’ve heard so many different versions of this, and I’m not an expert on Brazillian, Mexican or Porteguize history, so I’m just going with what I see as fairly plausible. Apparently we even had a lot of publications coming up with “scientific” justifications for the inferiority of certain races, clearly arguing that certain races are quite literally “slave races.”

              I do know a little bit of Roman history and a few other ancient histories, and my understanding is that slaves were usually from conquered countries or were sold into slavery by families with economic issues, etc. It wasn’t as race-based. I’m always open to being told I’m wrong on this issue, but it seems to me that there’s a lot of evidence that pro-slavery Americans were big on the whole “its fine cause they’re black” angle.

              1. I think you’re essentially correct. African slavery started out on political and economic terms. It was convenient and cost-effective to buy slaves from stronger tribes who raided weaker neighboring tribes to capture them, and then import them directly to the new world. A number of factors were responsible for the particulars of why and where, but race was essentially not a factor until the whole thing was pretty well established.

                Then, you starting having abolitionist movements come out of the enlightenment, and those with a pecuniary interest in slavery saw the writing on the wall and decided they needed “rationalist” theories to defend their practices. Thus, the theories of slavery being justified on racist grounds began to emerge, and this was absolutely a product of the new world, especially the Southern US. Which is not to say that nobody elsewhere adopted this thinking, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to characterize slavery on racial grounds as “uniquely American”, given that essentially all other historical practices of slavery were based on economic/political/military realities.

                1. What you just laid out is essentially what I have been told and read most often, thank you. You laid it out a lot better than I did.

              2. I American slavery was focused on race, how do you explain thew reported 1300 black slave owners in the 1860’s.
                Kind of hard to be a slave owner if all black people were slaves.
                P.S. White people were slaves too, they just called it indentured servitude.

                1. I highly doubt any of those black slave owners owned white slaves. Indentured servitude was something you could voluntarily give yourself into (like in exchange for a ticket to the new world), work your way out of and had very little to do with the form of chattel slavery that was inflicted on black people for several hundred years and was passed down by birth. Get out of here with your revisionist history bullshit.

    3. BLM fights the very thing that makes accountability impossible: Public sector union reform.

  6. Jake, you are right. This case is terrible from every angle.

    And the left is using sin taxes as their guiding light as to how to handle drug legalization.

    Which is exactly how you avoid the benefits of legalization. NY still has crime and violence around cigarettes for crying out loud. That’s a problem entirely created through exorbitant taxation. And of course instead of learning that lesson and rolling back the taxes a bit, they double down on the jackboot instead.

  7. So – –
    Taxes, like words, are violence.
    Got it.

    1. Well, the collection of taxes is enforced through violence.

      1. I shoulda hit refresh.

    2. One of those things is always enforced by the persistent threat, and often the exercise, of the coercive power of the state. The other, at least in theory, is not.

      1. But physical violence is the only thing you people think the state should do.

        It should stop people from trespassing on your property or committing violence against you, both with violent means. It should redress the social problems you care about by restraining and caging humans.

        So explain why the “violence” of tax collection is bad, when all you want the government to do is commit violence.

        1. Because it’s initiatory, Tony. It violates the NAP. Using violence to thwart those who started off committing violence does not.

          This is pretty basic stuff here. I know most of the libertarians have left thanks to the onslaught of Trumpistas, but you’ve been around here long enough that there’s no way nobody explained this to you before.

          1. Just spare me this horsepucky. You’re defining the whole problem.

            It’s an initiation of force to step foot on your lawn, but shooting you in the face for stepping foot on someone else’s lawn is cosmic justice? One of these things is more violent than the other. Chew on that for a while.

  8. Wasn’t this the opening scene to Beverly Hills Cop?

  9. I must say, I hadn’t heard about the quality-of-life policing angle. I assumed that this was simply a pretext law like failure to signal a lane change. The only time you’re going to hear about it is when somebody busted for possession is challenging the validity of the stop, the cops don’t bother enforcing the law against everybody, just the ones that look suspiciously like they might be doing something more unlawful than whatever minor infraction provides the probable cause for a further investigation.

    Still, it might be interesting to see the details on how many people busted for selling loosies were also charged with further offenses, further offenses which were only discovered upon frisking the suspect subsequent to his being detained on suspicion of selling loosies. Of course, I’m pretty sure there are no details available on the number of people detained and frisked on suspicion of selling loosies and subsequently released upon finding no drugs or weapons or outstanding warrants or anything else for which the detainee might be arrested.

    1. I think compstat did provide this sort of information.

      IIR, as a part of tracking their stop-and-frisk policy, they recorded every interaction and every outcome. This is how we knew who was being stopped, where and when. And this is where the racial disparity angle was debated.

    2. I assumed that this was simply a pretext law like failure to signal a lane change.

      It, quite arguably, still is. If you nudge all the tax numbers the gross profit margin, NYC to VA, is something like $0.40 per cigarette. In order to be selling loosies at any sort of reasonable profit, he’d have to be selling 1-2 every 15 min. all day, every day. This doesn’t take into account any kickbacks to shop owners and whomever’s doing the distributing. The ‘I saw you give/sell someone a cigarette.’ line doesn’t hold water.

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  11. Now who would’ve thought that a class A misdemeanor (selling loosies) in NYC under DeBlasio was a death penalty offense?

    1. DeBlasio is a communist that thinks any private exchange for profit is evil. But he’ll let you throw water at cops.

  12. While Maldonado and O’Neill both faulted Garner for failing to “comply” with police orders, his resistance is understandable in light of his manifestly sincere anger at being busted for a crime he had not committed.

    So because Garner denied it he must be innocent? That is dumb even by the very low standards of a Sullumn article.

    1. Says the guy who insists Trump was completely innocent of any wrongdoing in the Russia thing just because Trump said he was innocent.

      And let me just go ahead and reply to what you’re going to say next: There was also a big long expensive investigation of Eric Garner’s death that turned up no evidence whatsoever that Eric Garner was committing the crime of which he was accused, either. Sullum isn’t arguing that Garner was innocent simply because he claimed he was innocent, Garner was claiming he was innocent because he was in fact innocent.

      1. The fact that he was innocent, combined with all the other nonsense in these comments, is hindsight bias that doesn’t factor into an officer’s decision in the moment. Resisting arrest when you have done nothing wrong is NEVER understandable. The police aren’t seers, nor are they judges or juries.

        1. Man, that boot must be delicious.

          Resisting arrest is always understandable. Not only that, but if you’re innocent, it’s justifiable.

          1. Bootlicking and being practical are two completely separate matters. You can subsequently disarm the police and dial back their absurd intrusions into our lives while understanding that in the current reality we operate in, resisting arrest has never once helped anyone.

    2. Learn to read. He didn’t write that Garner was innocent because he denied the crime. He says because Garner was innocent, he denied the crime.

      That is dumb by even the very low standards of a John comment.

    3. No, because Garner is innocent it is reasonable for him to protest his innocence. I’m sure everyone protests their innocence to the police at the time of arrest, but not everyone gets immediately put in a choke hold either. These cops had it in for Garner. They were determined to detain him because they had already decided he was guilty.

      1. “”I’m sure everyone protests their innocence to the police at the time of arrest,””

        Perhaps verbally. When you start to protest physically, you end up face down on the pavement.

        Picking a fight with a guy with a gun who can legally kill you for damn near any reason doesn’t seem like a wise choice in picking and choosing your battles. The most stupid battle to chose is the one you can’t win.

        “”They were determined to detain him because they had already decided he was guilty.””

        That’s pretty much how it works with cops. Not so much they decide you are guilty, they leave that up to the judge. But they will arrest you for little shit, guilty or not, and let the judge decide. The cops are just trying to make quota. Ooops, not quotas, performance measures. 🙂

        1. +1,000,000…BINGO!!! Garner is dead because he RESISTED ARREST…If he did not, there is no choke-hold!! Better that Garner accepted the BS arrest & then sued the crap out of NYC & like soooo many others, he would be a rich man now!!!….Rich enough to afford to buy a full pack of cigs at the NYC price of $15.00 a pack!

          1. In a free society, the cops ought to be capable of handling the meager “resistance” offered by Garner without resorting to deadly force. The fact that it’s smart to comply with police doesn’t mean that they are precious snowflakes who should be able to respond to any sort of disagreement with lethal force.

            If “resisting arrest” means trying to kill an arresting officer, lethal force is appropriate. If “resisting arrest” means moving your arms away from the manacles, then it should meet no punishment for it’s basic human nature, and only a well-trained subject would behave otherwise.

            I may be a well-trained subject, but I wish it were not so, and I would not seek punishment against those who are better men than I in this respect, as was Garner. Too bad he paid the ultimate price for standing up for what was right.

            1. I’m not claiming the cops did not commit crimes against Garner , but I learned a loooooong time ago that when in a scenario with cops, they can be at that moment, Judge, Jury & Executioner, so it is best to comply!

              Still, the facts are that he did not listen to their commands & he paid for it with his life!

      2. He was guilty – of making the cops look bad by doing their job before they even got therle.

      3. He was guilty – of making the cops look bad by doing their job before they even got there.

  13. the obsession with [murdering] Staten Island loosie dealers grew out of a March 2014 meeting at One Police Plaza “focusing on quality-of-life conditions.”

    You have to wonder how they twisted “quality of life conditions” into a justification to start arresting loosie sellers. Does it degrade poor people’s lives to have a local guy who sells cigarettes at a greatly reduced price compared to the government-sanctioned dealer?

    It sounds like the March 2014 meeting was more of a meeting about “how do we jail as many poor people as possible so we can feel like we’re improving the city for rich people?”

    1. Smoking anywhere, even in your mind, is an evil act against all citizens in NYC. Anything related to it must be stamped out with prejudice else 11th hand smoke will kill everyone.

    2. Spot on Reason.

  14. $6 dollars a pack. At one cigarette at a time if he sold 100 packs it is $600 of tax evasion. He was unarmed and at 400 lbs he was not going to run far or long. What a disgusting scenario.

  15. The cops lied and Garner died.

  16. You know, there are a lot of laws I think are unjust. I am agnostic regarding whether selling “loosies” is one of them. It’s definitely not one of the laws I’d pick as my hill to risk legal jeopardy over.

    Somehow, I have managed to avoid violent confrontations with the police my whole life simply by virtue of not committing crimes.

    The few administrative crimes I have committed — speeding — I have simply not engaged in physical resistance with the police. I figure out on a roadside at night is a pretty poor place to get laws I disagree with changed.

    All Garner had to do was not break the law. If he disagreed with the law, he should have lobbied his government representatives.

    His chronic poor health made even the slightest physical confrontation dangerous, and the police had no way of knowing that. His condition was apparently sufficiently congenital that his daughter followed him in death due to heart problems only a short time later.

    Garner engineered his own death due to stupidity and failure to consider the consequences of his actions.

    1. Shut the fuck up copsucker. He committed a ludicrously minor crime and died. He is not the perpetrator of anything.

    2. He didn’t break the law. Did you read the article?

    3. *barf*

    4. Leave it to Cloudbuster to shit out the most idiotic response to this issue yet.

  17. Firefighters run into burning buildings. Cops shoot poodles.

    1. Firefighters aren’t tasked with stopping psychopaths from selling loosies to your children.

      It makes sense when you don’t think about it.

      1. Cops are psychopaths who found employment.

  18. The reason he died was the choke hold which was preceded by him resisting arrest.
    The officer should be fired because it’s against police policy in NY to use a choke hold,

    That’s it.

    If you are a NY police officer the moral is don’t use a choke hold especially for an alleged nonviolent crime.
    The moral of the story for the rest of us is resisting arrest NEVER works. Just don’t do it.
    They are not going to just let you go and they don’t care if you don’t like the laws they are enforcing

    Retarded article which the norm these days at Reason

    1. The chokehold was preceded by a cop falsely accusing him of a crime.

      1. So? Happens all the time

        Resisting arrest never works, tell the judge you’re innocent

        1. tell the judge you’re innocent

          Unfortunately that never works either. Its almost like, if you’re poor and male, you are fucked. Might as well go down fighting.

          1. “”Might as well go down fighting.””

            Garner is dead, the cop only lost his job. Not an equitable trade.

            1. Sounds like we got a dirty cop of the streets. Seeing as how the cops were determined to execute Garner anyway, I’d say this is preferable outcome to allowing the cop to maintain his job, as horrible as this situation is.

          2. Dumb advice, even if falsely convicted I doubt the penalty for selling “loosies” is very severe

            1. Probably just a fine. And, of course, being relentlessly harassed by cops every time they see you.

            2. It’s called being facetious.

  19. I never understood why the BLM movement hitched their wagon to Michael Brown and not this tragedy

    1. Over and over and over. Treyvon Martin, Antonio Martin, Jerame Reid… as John suggested above, BLM’s selective choice of token victims set police reform back a decade, to the point that it almost seems like a pro-policing false flag.

      1. Trayvon not Treyvon.

    2. Fuck man, if they chose Tamir Rice as their premier example of police brutality a lot of progress could have been made.

      1. I’ve said this many times.
        I don’t know if it really would have made progress, but people couldn’t claim Rice was a thug.

      2. The problem with Tamir Rice is that it is a statistically observed phenomena that police officers of all races frequently over-estimate the age of African Americans. Just like the lies about the Gentle Giant and Fat Albert the Neighborhood Loosie Salesman, Tamir Rice was huge for his age. When the officers called in the shooting, they estimated him as being 20 years old, not 12. He was 5’7, 175lbs. He wears a larger waist size pant than I do. And he wasn’t a fat kid either; he was extremely fit for his age.

        Let’s not forget the actual video either; the police pull up, Rice reaches into his waistband, and then they shoot him. You can see his motion in clear sight. The officers saw it too and then panicked. Officers have to react this quickly or else they can easily die. I don’t know how many of you watch LivePD, but I’ve seen episodes where officers have nearly been murdered on film. One particular officer was responding to a liquor store theft. He followed the suspect, asked him repeatedly to stop, and started to approach him without his hand on his firearm. The suspect had his arm in his coat pocket the entire time, which is extremely dangerous. The suspect pulled out his gun and shot the officer. The officer was hit and ran back to his cruiser and then collapsed. Thankfully he called it in quickly enough, but that’s what happens when police exercise “caution.”

        Keep that in mind every time you criticize those officers for how they responded to Rice’s motions.

        1. You’re right, I should criticize them for being cowards unfit for their chosen line of employment instead.

          1. Always a keyboard warrior and internet badass in every cop bashing thread.

        2. Yeah, I saw that video where they pulled up so fast on the child it scared the shit out of him, then they proceeded to blast him into oblivion less than 2 seconds after pulling up, about 3 feet away from him. Absolutely horrifying. These police are out of control.

          1. I really hope that whatever career you pursue, scum like you get tangled up in shit where you end up hurting the people you’re trying to help so you can suffer for your inhuman lack of empathy.

  20. The one thing we know for sure: dozens of black men will die every day because Pantelo was fired.

    It’s the Baltimore Solution.

    1. Dozens of black men will die every YEAR. Sorry.

    2. Due to lung cancer? Pantelo was a hero saving Garner from himself. Garner could have gotten lung cancer if not for Pantelo.

  21. Making everything about race is really getting tiring. It makes you look pretty dumb.

    Don’t resist arrest, ever, no matter your skin color.

    1. My favorite is when they yell “stop resisting” to a person in handcuffs laying face down, followed up by a really hard knee to the back.

      Never resist bro, even when you’re not resisting, stop resisting.

    2. Either black people are being especially targeted or black people are especially bad at resisting. Some people want to talk about the fact that race seems to matter one way or the other. How about you let people talk about it if they want to?

  22. So if I’m a career criminal and me a bunch of my buddies all swear on our word we didnu nuffin, you’re telling an officer should be like “ok I trust you have a nice day citizen.”

    1. Do you have actual evidence? Because if not, then yes.

      Also, your definition of “career criminal” is hysterically emotional. You sound like a soccer mom.

      1. 30+ arrests and assault and grand larceny charges are not hysterically emotional. Did your parents abuse you? You have serious trust issues.

  23. By imposing excise taxes almost 20 times as high as those collected in a state that’s a four-hour drive away, legislators invited the sort of entrepreneurial activity that got Garner into legal trouble.

    So we should all just be free to ignore laws we disagree with? How about the theft of my income the IRS commits every year? Is Reason going to support tax evasion as a moral choice as well now?

  24. From the city’s perspective, he was depriving politicians of their cut, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 or up to a year in jail.

    How is “up to a year in jail” comparable to $1000 fine. A year in jail would probably wreck my fucking life, a $1000 fine is something I could probably find in my change jar.

    1. The people who make the rules know a year in jail would wreck your life. But they have to make the jail sentence serious enough that you’ll feel grateful with getting away with only a $1000 fine. They get their money, you feel grateful. Win-win. You, being grateful, don’t stop to wonder why the taxes are so outrageous. Win-win-win all around.

  25. “Pantaleo recklessly used a prohibited chokehold”

    Then it was the chokehold that murdered Eric Garner.

    But nice try at deflection – But unlike Virginia that resembles a second world shithole in the Conservative voting districts, NYC know that if you want to live like a Northern European (or are Conservatives still calling it “the Nordic Race”), you have to tax and spend like a Northern European.

  26. This argument is ridiculous. Try to view it as a syllogism, the best possible “logic” I could make from the initial argument:

    1. Cigarettes are taxed less in VA. than in NY.
    2. If they were taxed at the same rate, Eric Garner would not have been ILLEGALLY selling cigarettes on the street.
    3, If Garner had not been selling cigarettes on the street, he would not have been stopped by the police.
    4. ERGO, if the cigarette tax rate in VA. was the same as in NY, Garner would not have been selling cigarettes, been stopped by the police, and would not have been killed.

    All this may SEEM logical; however, there’s a few major flaws here: 1. The world, as it existed on that fateful day, had UNEQUAL taxation rates among the states .
    2. As such, Garner was BREAKING THE LAWS OF THE LAND by selling cigarettes below normal cost in NY.
    3. He endangered the business of local stores that sold cigarettes at the normal price.
    4. He’d been warned and busted for doing this several times.
    5. He appeared to have been uncooperative with the police, who were compelled to enforce the law.
    6. If he had cooperated, he might have been arrested, given a citation, had to pay a fine, OR be let off with a warning.
    7. None of the above penalties are worth losing your life over.
    8. The choke hold would not have even been applied had Garner cooperated with legitimate police instructions.
    8. ERGO, Eric Garner caused his own death, because he did not cooperate — first, in breaking the law, and then by not cooperating.

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