The grand jury decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the “choke-hold” death of Eric Garner has produced some interesting critics. According to the Washington Times website (12/1/14), Glenn Beck said that Garner’s treatment by the NYPD was “inexcusable, brutal” and that “the system didn’t work here.” Moreover, “how Officer Pantaleo did not go to jail…is beyond me.”
Fox News contributor, Charles Krauthammer, told Bret Baier on Fox’s “Special Report” (12/3/14) that the grand jury’s non-indictment was “totally incomprehensible.” On that same show, Fox contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano called the decision “a profound error.”
Newsmax reports (12/6/14) that, on the Savage Nation, Michael Savage called Garner’s death “the chokehold murder of an innocent man” and said that Officer Pantaleo “should have been indicted,” that not doing so was “wrong, wrong, wrong.” Bill O’Reilly said on Fox’s “Talking Points” (12/4/14) that Eric Garner “was not a threat,” that “police clearly overreacted.”
Such a partial list of “conservatives” shows that opposition to the Staten Island grand jury decision is widespread, not limited to “liberals.”
Since Garner’s death was ruled a “homicide” by New York City’s Medical Examiner’s office, it should have been put before a trial jury for a verdict, not dismissed by the grand jury.
Other aspects worthy of criticism include the claim: “If you can’t breathe, you can’t talk,” an attempt to discredit Garner’s obvious medical distress (“I can’t breathe!”). Also, the claim that the alleged choke-hold “was only against police regulations, not against New York law” is disingenuous. If he was not to use it—but did so anyway and caused or contributed to Eric Garner’s death—Pantaleo should be tried for it.
Will we hear the words of Scripture today?
“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help?” (Isaiah 10:1-3).
Indeed, what will we do?