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No Indictment in Eric Garner “Chokehold” Death (#EricGarner)

No Indictment in Eric Garner “Chokehold” Death (#EricGarner)

Riots to follow?

A Grand Jury in Staten Island just issued a “No True Bill” in the death of Eric Garner.

Via NY Times:

A Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges against the white New York City police officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

The decision was reached on Wednesday after months of testimony including from the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who used a chokehold to restrain Mr. Garner, who died after a confrontation. It came less than two weeks after a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., declined to bring charges against a white officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown.

For days, the New York City Police Department has been readying for a new round of protests, which began in the city after the Ferguson decision and which were expected to continue and possibly grow if the grand jury declined to bring charges against the officer.

This CNN Video explains the case prior to the non-indictment announcement:

The NY Post adds:

Under New York law, an indictment must be agreed upon by at least 12 members of a grand jury, which can have up to 23 members.

Cell-phone video of Garner’s July 17 arrest shows Pantaleo wrestling him to the sidewalk on Bay Street, with the white cop’s arms wrapped around the neck of the black suspect.

On the ground, Garner was heard repeatedly yelling “I can’t breathe!” as Pantaleo and other cops held him down and handcuffed him.

The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Garner’s death a homicide caused by “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.”

Police union leaders denied that Pantaleo used a chokehold — which is banned by the NYPD — and blasted the autopsy as part of a “political” witch hunt.

Here’s a video of the arrest:

Here’s another:


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There will be a lot of trouble because of this ruling. I bet the first thing the rabble rouser’s will go to is the racial composition of the Grand Jury.

Staten Island is by far the whitest borough and if the demographics of the grand jury reflects that fact there will be a a lot of nonsense spewed by the usual suspects.

You CAN kill someone with a “choke-hold”. It takes time.

You CAN “Burke” someone to death. It takes time. (Look it up.)

Nobody killed this guy by anything they did. He died. Yeah, the stress may have induced his cardiac attack, but nobody could have predicted that. He was alive and breathing when the paramedics arrived.

    Radegunda in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    How many times does someone have to say “I can’t breath” before you decide that a choke-hold might be inappropriate?

    If the stress of being choked induced his cardiac arrest, doesn’t that mean he was in fact killed by something somebody did to him?

      Radegunda in reply to Radegunda. | December 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      “I can’t breathe” – of course.

      Ragspierre in reply to Radegunda. | December 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Is a head-lock a “choke-hold”? (No.)

      When a even a “choke-hold” is released, and a guy is saying, “I can’t breath”, he’s FLUCKING breathing. The autopsy found no damage to his air-way.

      When a paramedic arrives, takes his carotid pulse, and finds him sufficiently conscious to talk to him, is he “dead”? No.

      And, yeah, when a guy dies of cardiac arrest because of something that happened, he’s dead. But did anyone commit a crime? Or did he just die?

      Was he “prone” in the video, as the ME said? No.

      Was his chest compressed, as would be required by a “Burking”? No.

      Was this a tragic death? Yeah.

      Exiliado in reply to Radegunda. | December 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      And that’s why you don’t resist arrest.

      If you resist arrest, the police will use force to subdue you.
      You know what’s going to happen when all that stress hits you up in the pump.
      Pump’s gonna fail.

      Sanddog in reply to Radegunda. | December 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      If you can’t breathe, you can’t speak. I have no doubt the police attempt to restrain an overweight guy with asthma triggered an attack. That doesn’t mean the “chokehold” killed him. Using that rationale, you can’t ever restrain a suspect with asthma if he’s resisting. Does that sound logical?

        tom swift in reply to Sanddog. | December 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        That doesn’t mean the “chokehold” killed him. Using that rationale, you can’t ever restrain a suspect with asthma if he’s resisting.

        You really can’t think of any other ways to restrain a suspect?

          Sanddog in reply to tom swift. | December 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm

          A suspect who is resisting is going to require some level of force. Given Garner’s physical condition, if he resits, he’s going to have problems. Cops don’t have secret ninja powers to overcome a large, overweight, actively resisting suspect without force. That’s in the fictional world, not the real world.

      I remember being taught in first aid that there is one sure sign that somebody is truly choking…. they can’t utter a word.

      I also remember from the school of hard knocks, when you’re fighting someone and they start bellyaching about wanting you to let them loose, many times when you do they will turn around and start beating the shit out of you.

      Just sayin’

      Exiliado in reply to Radegunda. | December 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      And by the way, you can say “I can’t breath” a thousand times, it only proves that you can, in fact, breath.

      All you have to do is: stop resisting.

      forksdad in reply to Radegunda. | December 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      If you can keep yelling, “I can’t breathe!” you’re not in a ‘choke hold’. If you are in a chokehold you cannot speak or breathe.

      Saying the stress is what killed him is both foolish and impossible to determine but we can then say we cannot arrest anyone because an arrest is stressful. So to keep from being arrested for anything we should all scream, “I can’t breathe!”, “You’re Killing ME!” or something like the thief at the Wal-Mart, ‘You’re trying to Michael Brown me!’ and you should be able to get off scot-free.

      PrivateTimm in reply to Radegunda. | December 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      As any wrestling official can tell you, if someone is saying, “I can’t breathe” they are of course breathing because you need to be able to aspirate (breathe) in order to talk.

      The hold was also not a choke hold, which is a misnomer to begin with. When a person is “choked out” it is because of pressure on the carotid artery, not the windpipe. To do a sleeper (or choke) hold you need to have your hands locked to be able to get enough pressure to shut off the blood flow. You could never apply enough pressure from behind with one arm against a much taller man.

      The single arm the officer had on Garner’s neck was not to choke or put him out, but to take him down to the ground because where the head goes, the body follows.

      Sorry if these facts get in the way of your agenda.

    amwick in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Is 9 seconds enough, because that is what I saw in the video. Unless his windpipe was crushed, but then how could he speak? Looks as though the Grand Jury figured that out.

    NavyMustang in reply to Ragspierre. | December 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I’ve arrested people when I got them in a headlock and dropped to the ground using my weight to bring the suspect with me. That’s what I think the officer was doing here. Because of the suspect’s size and level of resistance, I actually don’t see many other ways that would have gotten this man to the ground quickly. I also think that the officer let go of the headlock pretty quickly. Probably once the cuffs were on.

    I’ve also arrested people who said they couldn’t breathe. I would tell them to stop resisting and all will be good. The one that immediately comes to mind was a guy who fell into a prone position with his hands under him. I and three other officers engaged him (we used physical force to convince him to submit. It was not pretty.) and kept telling him LOUDLY AND CLEARLY throughout to give us his hands, but he refused. If he had had a gun, all he had to do is pull his hand from under him and fire. I finally was able to pull his hands from under him and cuff him. My beat partners and I, as well as the suspect, were pooped. All that could have been avoided if he had just given us his hands.

    I didn’t see anything done here that I haven’t seen done before. It’s a horrible tragedy. RIP. The gentleman just had to submit to the arrest. HE was in control up until the time the officers put hands on him. We all know he would have been back on the street in about an hour with a small charge like selling “loosies.” Once he started resisting he was definitely going to jail. Cops will not back off from an arrest just because the suspect does not want to go. No one would get hooked up if that were the case.

      Ragspierre in reply to NavyMustang. | December 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      You can beat the charge, but you can’t beat the ride.

      If they decide you’re going in, you are going in, and they can’t back down.

      A court certainly can.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to NavyMustang. | December 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      I don’t see a “tragedy” here. I see a grossly obese, petty criminal who, just like so many others, refused to follow the directives of the officers to put his hands up. What did he think he was going to do? Run away from them? All 350 lbs. of him with his asthmatic breathing was going to run away? So let’s assume for the moment that somewhere in his two functioning brain cells he knew he couldn’t flee. What was Plan B? Resist? Resistance is futile when dealing with an urban PD. Individual scumbags involved in isolated incidents are out-numbered in that environment. You’re busted, you’re going down, end of story. So what was Plan C? Just resort to your primal culture and hope some good juju would make the cops vanish into thin air? What? What was this idiot thinking? He was 43 yrs. old, not a “youth.” He was old enough and experienced enough with life to know better and to prepare for the consequences of his criminal activities. He just didn’t want to. If he’d put his hands up, he might be alive today – MIGHT be, because he was probably destined for cardiac arrest if not that day, then soon.

      It happens again and again, and will continue to happen as long as resisting arrest and defiance are trademark teachings of a culture. Garner’s death is Garner’s fault and that of those who influenced his conduct and responses to LE along the path of his life.

      heyjoojoo in reply to NavyMustang. | December 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Beautifully worded. And I agree wholeheartedly. I am not a police officer but I have worked along side them and certainly see that this is a standard technique in many departments. The only unfortunate issue here is that the subject died. But the officer did use a technique that is used by police officers. The only concern I have is that I keep hearing from others that the technique is not policy of NYPD. That concerns me. With that said, I have yet to hear from NYPD that this is against their policy.

      DontBeThatGuy in reply to NavyMustang. | December 9, 2014 at 4:05 am

      You’re physically assaulting someone, and you expect them to do everything you say, exactly when you say it? WHILE YOU’RE PHYSICALLY FUCKING THEM UP? You can’t breath? You’re potentially fighting for your life because you can’t breath, and the entire situation has gotten insane? WELL, STOP RESISTING. You don’t see the crazy there? A bunch of of police dog pile on garner after the initial choking(that he locked in with his other hand), and you think there was no other way to handle the situation, other then ignoring his fucking pleas for help? And then after it went down, he still barely got any fucking help. Incompetent pussies, the lot of them.

      What’s your education level, by the way? What was your GPA? Do you even read books? LOL, whats the point, you’ll just lie about it anyways.

    Seriously? “Nobody killed this guy by anything they did.” So according to your logic Mr. Gardner would’ve died even if the police never laid a hand on him? Take a minute or two and read the coroner’s determination of the cause of death which was ruled a homicide, which is caused by someone doing something to the victim which causes death. And unless you’re under the opinion that you somehow have superior knowledge of things medical I will go with the autopsy.

      healthguyfsu in reply to MarkS. | December 3, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      Ask yourself this: Would a healthy person die from this encounter? Would most of the US population even die from this encounter?

      He was a ticking time bomb and someone cut the wrong wire.

        healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | December 3, 2014 at 11:53 pm

        Also, I’m not a medical examiner but I do have a Ph D in Neuroscience and my specialties are cardiovascular and metabolic physiology.

        It doesn’t take an advanced degree to tell you that someone can’t speak clearly when they’re actually being choked. His sympathetic nervous system kicked in and aggravated an underlying heart-attack-in-waiting. It’s actually quite common…physical exertion such as sex, running, heavy lifting, climbing stairs, etc. can often be the trigger for a cardiac event. Does that mean sex and exercise actually caused the heart attack?

      PrivateTimm in reply to MarkS. | December 4, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Tell me where I can read the full city medical examiner autopsy report and I will.

      You chide others for lack of knowledge of the medical report, but can I suggest you are ignorant of the Grand Jury’s finding? You don’t know what the GJ looked at and what they based their no bill on.

First of all it is not a “choke hold”. In fact the whole point is to avoid choking the subject. Properly done the larynx fits in the crook of the officers arm and the bicep and forearm apply pressure to the carotid arteries to stop the oxygenated blood from flowing to the brain.

When I was taught the carotid submission hold (proper name) it was stressed that if you missed and did not get the larynx properly placed in the crook of your arm, you move on to a different technique for controlling the subject.

    Correct. I’ve applied it and had it applied to me many times.

    And the key to it is in the wrist (applied to the side of the neck, IE arteries), not anything on the front ‘air side’ (trachea).

    NavyMustang in reply to Anchovy. | December 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    If he was doing a vascular neck restraint, he was doing a bad job of it. I forget what my academy instructors called it. Armbar? But they were very insistent that the positioning of the arm for the VNR was critical. This didn’t happen here.

“Skittles and Iced Tea”

“Gentle Giant”

“Chokehold Death”

The progs are doing it again.

The left is finding hard to get a poster boy without a rap sheet. That in itself is a telling tale of social woe for the Black community. Dennis Prager had a good point today… what is truly worse… “White on Black police ‘violence'” or 75% illegitimacy rate in the Black community?

Richard Aubrey | December 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm

There are chokeholds and there are chokeholds. There are moves that put pressure on the larnyx. That usually gains submission long before compression becomes an issue. That bad boy really hurts.
Moves against the arteries don’t choke anybody.
I guess the question is whether Pantaleo applied the banned chokehold.
This is another one of those places where talking facts is useless.
That said, the tax laws regarding cigarettes required four highly-paid LEO to be messing in this guy’s life and livelihood because there was nothing worse going on. Sure, he’s an idiot to be the father of six on an income of selling loose cigarettes to people who can’t afford a pack. That’s probably why he resisted. Of course, when the cops are acting as tax enforcers for some piddling little bleep business, anybody would be outraged. Collateral damage in the state’s revenue collection business. Not the first, not the last.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Richard Aubrey. | December 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I’m not sure that the sales of untaxed ciggies was his and his six kids’ sole source of income. He was or had been working as a horticulturist for the NYC Parks & Rec. Dept.. of course, he may have been getting SSI or SSD due to not being able to do that job because of his obesity, asthma and heart condition so was selling ciggies as supplemental income to his public dole gravy train checks. It can’t be garnished for welfare reimbursement and the kids get a government stipend if he’s on the SSI/SSD dole, so that may have been his gig.

    The cops were not acting as tax enforcers. The law against selling loosies is not a tax law. What he was doing would have been just as illegal even if he’d bought the pack in NYC, and thus paid all the tax on it. It’s a stupid law, but it is the law everywhere in the USA. The federal ban is several years old now, but almost every state banned it more than 20 years ago.

    That the police were enforcing a “petty” law is exactly what the “broken windows” policing system is about. It’s how NYC’s crime rate has dropped so dramatically.

The expression “chokehold” is a misnomer, especially in this instance. Properly applied, with the elbow aligned with the chin while applying pressure bilaterally to obstruct blood flow supplying oxygen to the brain via the carotid arteries, unconsciousness may be induced. Apply pressure to the carotid arteries too long may induce death. Improper positioning of the arm while applying pressure, with the elbow not aligned with the chin, may irreversibly crush the trachea, obstructing the airway. As you may notice from the video, the officer wearing the “99” jersey does not have long enough arms (specifically the distance from the shoulder to the elbow) to properly apply the hold on an over-sized 400 pound man.

Having wrote all that, please note that someone who is repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” is exchanging air, as it is air passing over the vocal chords that is producing the sound, but still may not be exchanging a sufficient volume of air. As an asthmatic under stress, his bronchioles probably spasmed and constricted, reducing the amount of oxygen in his blood supplied to his brain and heart. Handcuffing him with his hands behind his back reduced the ability for him to expand his chest and take in a deeper breath. The weight of several arresting officers attempting to hold him down also inhibited his ability to expand his chest. In effect, he probably asphyxiated, leading to cardiac arrest and death.

It is ironic that the selling tax-stamp free tobacco contributed to his death.

When are they going to burn this b-tch down?

Manhattan looks to be far better shopping for looters – and with Christmas just around the corner, evvybuddy be like checking their lists, yo, home?

I keep hearing that the “choke hold” is illegal in NY. Is this a factor?

    Milhouse in reply to heyjoojoo. | December 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    No, you don’t keep hearing that it’s illegal, you keep hearing that it’s against NYPD policy. If it were illegal they would say so; the fact that they carefully don’t say so tells me that it ain’t so, as loudly as if they’d said it themselves.

      heyjoojoo in reply to Milhouse. | December 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      So is it against NYPD policy? I’ve heard that it was banned over 20 years ago. I tend not to believe that. I have seen many cops use it and so I can’t see that it would be against policy unless that is something NYPD may have done themselves.

        Milhouse in reply to heyjoojoo. | December 3, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        Yes, it is explicitly against NYPD policy. Which, of course, has the same force as any employer’s policy; the worst that can happen if you break it is to be fired.

        Members of the New York City Police Department will NOT use chokeholds. A chokehold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.

        […] Whenever possible, members should make every effort to avoid tactics, such as sitting or standing on a subject’s chest, which may result in chest compression, thereby reducing the subject’s ability to breathe.

        […] After an individual has been controlled and placed under custodial restraint using handcuffs and other authorized methods, the person should be positioned so as to promote free breathing. The subject should not be maintained or transported in a face down position.

        […] If a person appears to be having difficulty breathing or is otherwise demonstrating life-threatening symptoms, medical assistance will be requested immediately. The patrol supervisor will direct that alternate means to maintain custody be utilized, if appropriate.

        The use of restraints to “hog-tie” (restraining person by connecting or tying rear cuffed hands to cuffed or shackled ankles or legs) subjects and the transportation of subjects in a face down position within any vehicle are prohibited.

Getting to where I cant stand to hear this president speak. [smh]

basically all for selling loose cigarettes.
the taxes there are a killer….

    forksdad in reply to dmacleo. | December 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Basically because he was overweight and kept fighting resisting arrest. He committed manslaughter against himself. He should have reasonably known that violently resisting arrest when you are a giant ‘Carl’s Jr.’ away from a heart attack can kill you.

Did this guy die at the scene?

Nope. Didn’t die at the scene. If he had he wouldn’t have been transported to a hospital. He died on the way there.

He resisted arrest! There were cops at the scene. Not just one guy. And, the “chokehold” didn’t kill him. Asthma, and a heart attack, did. Which were pre-existing conditions.

Oh, and his record of getting into trouble with the law started when he was 16.

Why was he thrown to the ground? So that he could be arrested. Which is what he was resisting.

The Collectivist mayor will get a lot a people killed before he’s done.

I am amazed that 99% of the folks on here can get it right but the media, including Fox, can get it so wrong!

“Hands up, Can’t Breath” just wanted to coin the phrase first!

Ok. I’m as conservative as they come. I don’t think race enters into this case at all. But I am struggling mightily with what happened to Eric Garner, and I’m disturbed by some of the seemingly insensitive comments made in this thread.

Here’s my problem. I’m a law abiding citizen of the US. I have a concealed weapon license and I carry daily. So I’ve had to learn the basics of use of force law, because, while I will certainly defend myself and others in the right circumstances, I don’t want to go to jail and I don’t want the crushing expense of a trial.

As a citizen, I have a right to detain someone, if they are committing a crime, until the police arrive. If I were to do what the officer did to Eric Garner, I can guaran-damn-tee you I would be facing a trial. I might not be convicted, but I would definitely have my day in court to defend my actions and face adversarial questioning from the prosecutor.

How is this cop different? I ask as sincerely as I possible can. How is this cop different? His actions resulted in the death of a man. The moment he put that choke hold on Garner, he was no longer resisting. He was on the ground, swarmed by officers and gasping, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

When I look at use of force situations, I put myself in the cop’s shoes. In the case of Michael Brown, Officer Wilson was clearly justified in using deadly force. I would have done EXACTLY what he did under the same circumstances.

When I look at this situation, I see serious problems. I would NOT do what the officer did. The moment he said I can’t breathe, I would have released the hold. And please don’t insult me with his asthma and heart is what killed him. The proximate cause of his death was the force used to subdue him.

How is there not even probable cause to go to trial on involuntary manslaughter? I really need to understand this.

    Exiliado in reply to txantimedia. | December 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    IANAL, but I doubt that you have a legal right to actually use physical force “to detain someone, if they are committing a crime, until the police arrive.”
    A police officer, on the other hand, has such authority.

    Not a lawyer here, so don’t take my word.
    It would be great to hear what the experts have to say. (or read, whatever)

      txantimedia in reply to Exiliado. | December 3, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      Actually, in Texas I can use the threat of deadly force to detain a suspect in the commission of certain crimes and deadly force if he tries to attack me or run away. For example, if a guy walks in to a store and says, This is a stickup, I can either shoot him on the spot or tell him to drop his weapon and get on the floor. Then I can hold him at gunpoint until the police arrive. (I’m sure New Yorkers couldn’t do anything even close to that.) What I can’t do is shoot him while he’s lying on the floor complying with my commands.

        Milhouse in reply to txantimedia. | December 7, 2014 at 12:06 am

        New York law says:

        4. A private person acting on his or her own account may use physical force, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in fact has committed such offense; and may use deadly physical force for such purpose when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to:

        (a) Defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or

        (b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder, manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom.

      Milhouse in reply to Exiliado. | December 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      Have you seriously never heard of citizen’s arrest?!

    PrivateTimm in reply to txantimedia. | December 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Dewd, catch a clue. If you can say “I can’t breathe” you are breathe. You can NOT tall if you can’t breathe.

    If you were a private citizen trying to arrest someone for selling single cigarettes you’d be an ass wipe, but the police officers were doing whet they were told; to arrest people for these petty offenses.

    Garner would be alive if he had not resisted arrest. If had said “fine, arrest me” he’d have been home by dinner time. There is no one to blame but him.

    Milhouse in reply to txantimedia. | December 7, 2014 at 12:33 am

    If I were to do what the officer did to Eric Garner, I can guaran-damn-tee you I would be facing a trial. I might not be convicted, but I would definitely have my day in court to defend my actions and face adversarial questioning from the prosecutor.

    How is this cop different?

    I don’t see how you can be so sure you would have been indicted. But let’s suppose it’s so. Don’t you agree that the legal system owes a certain degree of loyalty to its own employees, whom it has hired, entrusts with guns, and sends out every day to protect the public? Don’t you think it owes some loyalty to a person who was not acting on his own initiative but rather was carrying out the very orders that the legal system gave him? The legal system includes this cop’s commanders, who directly ordered him to go out and arrest Eric Garner; he would not have attempted to do so without those orders; surely it owes him the courtesy of a presumption that he acted properly, whereas they don’t owe you or me anything.

    Also, a cop is a known quantity, with a strong presumption of being of good moral character, whereas you or I are unknown. We might be wonderful people, or we might be criminals or psychopaths. The grand jury doesn’t know us. So it can’t give us the same presumption of proper conduct that it would someone it knows.

    This is all very different from a criminal trial, where every defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence. That doesn’t apply at indictment.

You can tell which topics really bother the prog drones by which posts they frequent here with their down-votes and inane comments.

As this blog has grown in popularity, I think it’s now on some OFA hit-list for drone-bot activity.

Paul, I sure hope you’re not referring to me, because if you are, you could not possibly be farther off base. I’m somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun. Were I in charge, I would immediately eliminate more than half of the Executive Branch departments and refuse to sign any budget bill that didn’t balance the budget while paying the debt down.

So is anyone going to drop the typical ridicule and honestly answer my sincere question? Because when it affects ME like this, I can guarantee you that you guys are in the minority.

    Tex, I am no big cop fanboy either, but I do believe in Due Process. I think a grand jury is in a much better position to pass judgement than a bunch of people (us) who are looking at a short cellphone video and being spoon-fed a steady stream of progressive bullshit on the matter. The guy was not being choked out…you cannot talk if you’re being choked out.

    The bottom line is this: once the po-po tells you you’re under arrest and starts to hook you up you need to just let them. You can get your day in court later. But if you want to act like billy-bad-ass, or thug-from-da-hood, or whatever flavor of tough-guy you prefer, then you’re asking for a beat down into submission. And if you have asthma and are grossly obese with a bad ticker, then that is an especially stupid choice.

    To suggest otherwise is to suggest that we give our society over to anarchy.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to txantimedia. | December 3, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    The knowledgeable and the experienced are almost always the minority.

Regardless of how he was restrained, what was the probable cause to arrest Garner? I heard he had a reputation for illegally selling cigarettes, but why did the cops decide to arrest him at that particular time?

Richard Aubrey | December 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

IF I get this right, you mistake what happened. The choke hold did not restrict his breathing much, if at all. It appears that the weight of the cops trying to hold him down prevented full inspiration, with asthma as a complicating factor. Then his heart failed.
If he’d been being choked, he couldn’t have complained. I use the term “choke” to mean cutting off air supply.
It appears the initial grasp was a matter of getting hold of Garner. You have the neck, surmounted by a skull which is larger and so you have a pretty solid grasp and, it being on the end of the body, good leverage. It appears that only later did the hold shift into across the neck. Stills I saw some time back showed the officer’s arm coming around from behind across the chest belowt the throat. The time Garner was in an actual chokehold–against the arteries–was pretty minimal.
I’ve been choked out in competition and I once choked out an assailant. Both of us recovered immediately.
As has been said, any physical confrontation was likely to kill this sick man, whether it was another kind of grappling by the cops, or a taser, or Mace.
My view is…the cigarette law is silly and having four cops running and undercover op against it is freaking nuts. Cops are allowed to restrain you if you resist arrest. Sometimes they do it wrong. Sometimes, wrong or right, they find they’re dealing with somebody who’s got a condition likely to kill him anyway.
Some people have said Garner didn’t deserve this. Many of us suffer things we don’t deserve. Garner got what was coming to a guy who, while sick, tries to fight four guys. There is no moral load, no “deserve”. Takedowns and restraints happen all the time. Some may be worse. But when the subject is as afflicted as Garner was, what is usual turns deadly and nobody’s to blame. Except the FDA morons who made the law about loosies and the cop command which sent guys out looking for loosie dealers.

Richard, thanks for your response. I don’t have a problem with them taking him down to arrest him. My problem is, once they had him on the ground, with four cops on him, why retain the hold? It accomplished what it was meant to accomplish – control the subject and get him on the ground so they could cuff him.

The ME ruled his death a homicide due to chest and neck compression with his health conditions being contributing factors. Involuntary manslaughter doesn’t require intent. It merely requires that his behavior be reckless enough that a death could have been foreseen. Let a jury decide if the elements are met. I would have no problem with him being found guilty, because I know the jury is privy to information that I don’t have.

As far as his health problems go, for me at least that’s a pretty weak excuse. First of all, it should be obvious to any sentient being that an obese middle-aged man is going to have health problems that will be exacerbated by stress. Secondly, once he starts gasping for breath, it’s obvious he’s in stress. He wasn’t trying to get away, and four cops were restraining him. Release the hold and effect the arrest.

Why do cops get a special pass? If I did what that cop did, I would be charged with involuntary manslaughter. I might not be convicted. It depends on the trial. But I certainly wouldn’t be no-billed. To me it says that the cops can do things that we citizens cannot, and I have a HUGE problem with that. As a citizen, I am supposed to be sovereign, not the state. When the state grants itself powers that exceed my rights as a citizen, we are headed down the road to tyranny. (God knows we have enough tyranny in America now.)

    WR The choke hold, what ever form it took, lasted about 9 seconds. It was released pretty much as soon as he was on the ground. I saw that on the video pretty clearly. Not that 9 seconds (or so) make a difference, because severe damage could have been done in a fraction of that time.

    BTW Rudi Giuliani just said that the transcripts of the GJ proceeding will be released.

    PrivateTimm in reply to txantimedia. | December 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    >>>Why do cops get a special pass?<<<

    Because they are cops.

    We ask them to put themselves in harms way on a daily basis so they get some slack.

    Where was the mens rea by the police? If all a criminal has to do to get the cops off him is say, "I can't breathe" they'll all do it and one day a cop will die of it.

    You keep accusing others of evading the issue. YOU are evading the issue which is if Garner had not resisted, he wouldn't have had any issues.

    There was ZERO excessive force. The takedown was relatively benign.

    Milhouse in reply to txantimedia. | December 7, 2014 at 12:42 am

    My problem is, once they had him on the ground, with four cops on him, why retain the hold?

    They didn’t retain it. As soon as he was secure the cop released the hold.

    He wasn’t trying to get away

    He certainly was. He declared that he was not going to allow himself to be arrested. If they’d released their hold on him he’d surely have escaped, or else attacked the cops.

    and four cops were restraining him.

    But you want them to have stopped restraining him.

    Why do cops get a special pass? If I did what that cop did, I would be charged with involuntary manslaughter. I might not be convicted. It depends on the trial. But I certainly wouldn’t be no-billed.

    How do you know?

    But it is true that a Staten Island grand jury is always going to view cops with a favourable eye, and a presumption that they’re good people, whereas it will view you or me with at best a neutral eye, as people who might be good or might be very bad.

As far as the law goes, NY is the place where they considered restricting the size of soft drinks, so the tyranny up there is rampant. I refuse to live in a place that thinks that is reasonable or even makes sense.

    Milhouse in reply to txantimedia. | December 7, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Selling loosies has been against the laws of almost every state (including TX) for more than 20 years, and against federal law for 4 years.

txantimedia –

“My problem is, once they had him on the ground, with four cops on him, why retain the hold?”

Once it goes physical with resistance, cops are trained to not stop until their objective, your restraint, is met. That means the cuffs are on and secured. They are not trained to make on the spot ad hoc medical diagnoses during the confrontation.

“Why do cops get a special pass” Because they are obliged and sworn to do things that you or I are not even permitted to do.

“If I did what that cop did, I would be charged with involuntary manslaughter” Yeh – if you went up to some guy with four of your friends and took him down by force and he died – sure. When you do it, it’s called ‘mugging’ aka battery.

They can chase your ass down the road at 100 MPH, they can run red lights doing it, all kinds of things you can’t do. They have ‘police powers’, you and I do not.

He was not taken down over a cigarette. He was taken down due to resisting arrest, first verbally, then physically. If he had not resisted, there would have been no take-down, only an arrest.

As to his saying ‘I can’t breathe’, you like most, ignore the FULL sequence :

‘I can’t breathe (inhale so as to speak again) I can’t breathe (inhale so as to speak again) etc. In an actual wind-choke, no air goes in, and none goes out. Note that he did not even sound ‘choked’, you know the voice changes I mean (I hope).

“The moment he put that choke hold on Garner, he was no longer resisting” Oh, yes he was. Watch it again.

“I would have no problem with him being found guilty, because I know the jury is privy to information that I don’t have.”

Totally wrong again. In our system, trials are open (with rare exceptions, and this would not have been one) with many rules to ensure that openess. Hell, you as a citizen, uninvited, can go sit in the room every day and listen and see evidence.

We also have a GRAND jury system, predicate to trial, which is secret, and which exists to protect the accused from prosecutors.

    Milhouse in reply to pjm. | December 7, 2014 at 12:52 am

    PJM, private people are also allowed to arrest criminals, so long as they know for certain that the person did commit the crime. (Details vary by state, but in general the main difference between the arrest powers of policemen and private people is that police can arrest for a minor violation, while private people can usually arrest only for a misdemeanor, and in some cases only for a felony; and that if police arrest someone and he turns out not to have committed the crime after all, they just say sorry and let him go, while a private person who arrests an innocent person, even by mistake, has committed a crime.)

Well, I meant I would have no problem finding him NOT guilty, but I screwed that up.

pjm, based on what you are saying, imo cops are being trained wrong. They should be trained to use the minimal force necessary to effect an arrest. They should also be trained to begin with minimal force and escalate only when necessary.

Frankly, I’m insulted by your accusation that I’m ignoring the sequence. When someone says I can’t breathe they are indicating a problem. Saying, you couldn’t say that if you couldn’t breathe is a pretty cynical approach to the issue. What’s worse is, I think the people who make that argument know it’s disingenuous but use it anyway, because they don’t want to be bothered to address the real issue – how much force should be used to effect an arrest?

If the guy is lying just to get the police off him and resists as soon as they loosen their hold, then by all means increase the force until he complies. If he dies in those circumstances, his death is on him.

I have watched the video repeatedly. To say Garner was still resisting when he was on the ground is laughable. He wasn’t moving at all, except whereever the cops moved him. I just watched it again. They never even said you are under arrest. They simply jumped him and took him down.

I think it’s interesting that you ignored my example of a citizen’s arrest and turned it into an assault to demonstrate that cops have special privileges. Perhaps what you are really admitting is that police can assault citizens without consequence? If true, and if one gives a hoot about the Constitution, that should be very troubling. Thus the reason I am troubled by this.

As far as the Grand Jury system goes, it seems it’s quite rigged when it comes to law enforcement.

If a guy tries to rob me and I have to use deadly force to prevent the robbery, I expect that no charges would be filed. If witnesses claim the guy wasn’t really robbing me, then I expect a grand jury will investigate. If the facts are conflicting, then I expect the case would go to a jury trial to determine if I committed a crime. I would NOT expect that the court would say, well this guy was trained in self defense, and we really shouldn’t question his judgment.

The same should be true for the police.

Cops should be subject to the same use of force rules that citizens are, and when they use force that results in a death, that event should be investigated by a third party with the expertise to understand police procedures and practices, NOT by the very people who are motivated to protect him.

Their recommendations should be handed to a special prosecutor assigned to that case, who has no vested interest in protecting the police. And the special prosecutor should, if he thinks it’s warranted, be required to take the case to a grand jury convened for that specific case. (IOW, he either states there is no probable cause or it goes to the grand jury.)

If we continue down the present path, we will have no freedom left. And people will be complaining about unfair treatment when there is no way the government is going to bother to even listen to our complaints any longer.

    “If the guy is lying just to get the police off him and resists as soon as they loosen their hold, then by all means increase the force until he complies. If he dies in those circumstances, his death is on him.”

    I’m sorry but that is sheer nuts. He had his chance and he took it into a physical confrontation. Remember….with those four cops are at least four guns, all within easy reach of the guy. Those cops would be asking to be shot if they laid off every time somebody cried “uncle.”

      txantimedia in reply to Paul. | December 4, 2014 at 12:46 am

      Paul, I don’t want to live in a world where you get one chance and then screw you. Maybe you do, but I suggest you think about what that means. You may think of yourself as law-abiding, but I guarantee you the government has enough laws on the books that if they decide they want to get you, they will. And if you don’t roll over like their bitch, could very well end up like Eric Garner. You might change your mind then, but it also might be too late.

        When you find Nirvana, drop us a note.

        tx, you’ve crossed into the land of sheer idiocy.

        Milhouse in reply to txantimedia. | December 7, 2014 at 12:58 am

        You seem not to have read Paul’s comment before responding to it. Let me repeat the key words: “Remember….with those four cops are at least four guns, all within easy reach of the guy. Those cops would be asking to be shot if they laid off every time somebody cried ‘uncle’.” What response do you have to that? Can you deny that if your proposed policy were adopted, i.e. if they laid off every time someone “cried uncle”, sooner or later this policy would result in a dead cop?

    “pjm, based on what you are saying, imo cops are being trained wrong. They should be trained to use the minimal force necessary to effect an arrest. They should also be trained to begin with minimal force and escalate only when necessary.”

    They are. They are also trained that in the situation, THEY are in charge, and that no one likes being arrested ( before the take down Garner said ‘this shit stops now, just go away’, etc,). What would you like, for them to stand there and try to talk someone into saying ‘OK, please arrest me now’ ? Whcih they tried with Garner, to no effect.

    “When someone says I can’t breathe they are indicating a problem. Saying, you couldn’t say that if you couldn’t breathe is a pretty cynical approach to the issue.”

    It is simply fact. By definition, an air choke cuts of all air movement. Both in and out. IF your airway is cut off, you can not speak. Both the inability to move air, and the loss of fine motor control in you vocal cords ( to form sounds other than maybe ‘arrrrggggg’ or ‘acckkk’ or similar),

    “I have watched the video repeatedly.” Then watch the part where they begin to try to cuff him, and he resists. Then they ‘increased force until he complied’ (because he had no option), exactly as you suggest.

    “Cops should be subject to the same use of force rules that citizens are,” Then why have them ? By that rule, they could never stop a criminal, right ?

I just re-watched the video, paying specific attention to the takedown hold that the undercover officer placed on him. From the moment he began the takedown until he released his hold was 14 seconds. Garner did not complain about breathing problems until AFTER the hold was released. I believe it was the weight of all the officers pressing down on his torso that caused the breathing difficulties. So, imo, the wrong officer was investigated.

Perhaps that’s what the Grand Jury saw as well.

    ” So, imo, the wrong officer was investigated.”

    The entire incident was investigated. And all participants. All evidence. Multiple times, including a jury of citizens.

      Milhouse in reply to pjm. | December 7, 2014 at 1:01 am

      I don’t believe that was the case. The other officers were given immunity, so the grand jury was not allowed to investigate them.

    Ragspierre in reply to txantimedia. | December 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    You’re simply wrong.

    The initial hold is in no sense a “choke-hold”. It involves the LEO placing one arm UNDER Garner’s arm, with the other over his shoulder.

    There is a head-lock AFTER that, which lasts a VERY few seconds and is released immediately when the other officers have physical control of Garner.

    Ragspierre in reply to txantimedia. | December 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    That does not show a man who is being Burked (chest compression that causes inability to breath). And this is taken a few seconds after the initial take-down.

Didn’t matter what tools were used to subdue and restrain Garner. Every method available to the cops would trigger the asthma, irregular heartbeat, and diabetic spike any one of which could kill him.

Only two options were available to prevent Garner’s death – police walk away without doing the job they were sent to do, and Garner surrendered peaceably.

Eric died without a cigarette on his body. So how they got from suspicion to probable cause to choking the guy to death is a bit of a mystery because its evident from the video that they were not following protocol. And before someone says he resisted, when he put his hands up, thats not resisting. It didn’t look like he resisted until they started choking hm, which would be a reasonable reaction. This is over a non-violent no victim misdemeanor for the collection of a sales tax meant to promote “health”. This is a ticket/summons grade offense.

Too any officer that thinks arresting someone like this is appropriate, suppose someone saw you jaywalking or maybe bringing some goods out of state and “forgot to pay the state use tax” and decided to arrest you for it by jumping on your back and choking you to the ground. Ohh well if you die too bad, shouldn’t have eaten so many doughnuts and “resisted”.

    pjm in reply to imfine. | December 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    You bring new meaning to ‘full of shit’.

      imfine in reply to pjm. | December 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

      You mean your are full of shit, unless you can point out where exactly in that video they established probable cause and then properly miranderized him BEFORE they decided to jump him from behind. All they have on the video is the cops harassing him and then he starts to argue with them and then they jump on him from behind and started choking him. Why, because after surrounding him he told them to back off.. If they had reasonable suspicion they should have searched him, but even then it’s not evident that he would have had more than a reasonable amount of ciggerettes on him. So everyone in that video knows that because they didn’t actually catch him selling cigarettes loose, that they had nothing and were going to have to let him go. But no they didn’t tell him he was under arrest. (Probably because they knew they didn’t have probable cause and this was illegal) they just viciously attacked him over a pack of cigarettes. In the process they murdered him. That’s evident in the video. That’s what pissing people off. It was completely unnecessary and it terrifies people to think officers would do this to anyone. Because you know what, if they are this nutty, they could do this to anyone. They are just a danger to society.

        Ragspierre in reply to imfine. | December 5, 2014 at 11:09 am

        You REALLY shouldn’t feel the need to continue making a complete moron of yourself.

        Seriously. Just stop now. We know you’re an idiot. No further demonstration is needed.

          imfine in reply to Ragspierre. | December 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm

          You really are that nuts? You think we pay officers to go doing things like this? I don’t no any serious legal commentator or conservative for that matter that found what happened lawful, but you know what, I hope no one decides to bring you down for one your petty crimes like this. Its just savagery

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 5, 2014 at 10:47 pm

          Well, you need to read more and listen outside whatever bubble you’re in…

          I don’t see any illegal conduct. I see what cops are trained to do, and execute thousands of times a day without anybody dying or getting seriously hurt. But a lot of the harness cops I’ve known had to retire early because they were so physically beat up.

          I’m a pretty conservative, trained legal kinda guy. So is Rush, and Mark Levin, and Hannity.

          Cops don’t arrest you for jaywalking, moron. They DO arrest you for street crime, even appallingly stupid ones like the one involved here. They get orders, and they follow them if they are legal.

          As the grand jury found.

          You can either convince someone you are not insane in this argument, or you can learn something.

          Up to you.

        Wow – he thinks Miranda is read BEFORE arrest, not after. Unreal. Must have been to law school. In the Archie comics law school books, anyway.

        And he thinks they should search him BEFORE, not after.

        What a numb-nuts.

          imfine in reply to pjm. | December 5, 2014 at 6:47 pm

          Yeah like I said before, if there are officers that have committed offenses like jay walking, if they would think it would be legal to have someone jump them from behind and choke them to the ground to “subdue” them would be okay, just point them out. I think most of them would think they were being attacked, and would “resist”, which would lead to further beatings for “resisting”.

          When you guys stand up and try and justify these crazy and vicious assaults, you discredit conservatism. The protections for probable cause and against excessive force are fundamental protections afforded to us under the constitution. Being Conservative and standing up for the constitution are not contradictory, and standing up for what appearances are some really bad cops is not conservative.

          But like I said, find some officers that wouldn’t mind being jumped like that and choked to the ground.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | December 5, 2014 at 8:13 pm

          You can’t stop, can you…???

          pjm in reply to pjm. | December 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm

          He’s a rare one, he is.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | December 5, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          “But like I said, find some officers that wouldn’t mind being jumped like that and choked to the ground.”

          First, again, NOBODY was “choked to the ground”.

          Second, what do you think LEOs do in training? They get taken down, just like Mr. Garner. And they learn to take down people who will not simply allow themselves to be cuffed. Because they have to do that, and do it safely for all concerned.

    Milhouse in reply to imfine. | December 7, 2014 at 1:04 am

    The probable cause against Garner was that the police had received numerous complaints about him. It had nothing to do with what the arresting officers saw or didn’t see. It had nothing to do with whether he had been selling at that moment or that day or the previous week.

When someone says I can’t breathe they are indicating a problem.

Or they’re trying to get the person holding them to let go, so they can either escape or attack him.

This situation is crazy. Im sure there were more serious crimes going on then to be attacking a man about selling cigarettes. As a former correctional office, we were trained not to do certain things. What they did to this man was awful
You can tell he was dead before the paramedics got there. Please go back and watch the video. His eyes were open, he didnt blink not once. He never moved hos body himself. Not an arm, finger, foot nothing!!!!! At that point what should have been done; handcuffs taken off and cpr stared. No one is mentioning that the 4 EMTs were suspended for failure to administer CPR. And the guy who chocked him PANTALES has been sued 3 times for use of force. all those officers out there and not one used common sense. Go find some real police work to do. I hope none of them can sleep at night for taking this guys life over a cigarette when they could have given him a warning and told him to go. Choose your battles and this one wasnt worth it.

DontBeThatGuy | December 9, 2014 at 3:41 am

A bunch of white republicans are OK with a group pussy cops killing a black man for allegedly selling loose cigs(something i did in school all the time, 25 cents a pop, no allegedly needed. KILL ME) after he broke up a fight, and treating him like a complete inhuman after he put his hands up(oh my, such resisting), and then was in obvious fucking distress? Over what, FOR WHAT? I’m not shocked you’re a bunch of unfeeling scumbags, but how cute it is to watch you all circle-jerking each other over this. Real cute. also, he was fucking choked, I’ve been choked in actual fights(you pussies ever been in one?), and you best believe i felt like I was about to pass the fuck out even while being able to faintly mutter out I CANT BREATH. The difference is though, they let go, these GROUP OF COPS did not.

It’s no wonder cops are feeling real good about abusing power, with prosecutors on their side(could indict a ham sandwich, eh? Interesting) and ingrates like yourselves patting them on their backs. They can get away with the death of a human, whether intentionally or not, NOT EVEN SEE A TRIAL, while you have people locked up years for a fucking bag of weed and their lives ruined. (there’s few things more absurd than that, especially since it’s gonna be legalized everywhere eventually, deal with that)

You should have to have a certain intelligence to be a police officer, but since smart people are actually turned away for having higher IQ’s(look it up), that’s not about it happen. They can keep on hiring these lunkheads out of high school (or with bare minimum of col. education. I went to school with a few of those morons) that took their special brand of idiocy to the police academy and got rewarded with deadly weaponry and no accountability. A bunch of then go home and beat up their family, a statistic that’s two to four times higher than the general population. Look that up too. Such exalted ground they walk on.

There’s a whole lot of shady police officers out there, police departments, which is well documented, and a great many of supposedly decent cops that look the other way, rendering them just as bad. It’s always amusing to see people like yourselves kiss the ground they walk on though(especially when it involves their dealings with the black people), because of course you do. Of course. Now, go ahead with the circlejerk reactions, and the spewing of CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IDIOT? STOP NOW, YOU’RE MAKING AN ASS OUT OF YOURSELF. It’s amusing.