By Rev. Mario Gonzalez, Esq.
For more, visit www.gonzlawgroup.com
Eric Garner should not have died. Plain and simple. This is a case of excessive force, not necessarily motivated by racial animus. Sadly, more care is typically taken handling animals than was given to this man. The NYPD should man up, admit their mistake here, apologize to the family, and pay up.
This case must be distinguished from Ferguson where the decedent was a thug and the behavior displayed following the incident by the hoodlums feigning concern dishonored the distinguished memory of our revered civil rights icons. Both the autopsy and the video in Garner's case rightly indicate probable criminal negligence. Unlike Ferguson, there should have been an indictment in this case.
Hearing this man beg for air only to be ignored by the NYPD directly leading to his death is both heartbreaking and inexcusable. Once he let the officers know that he couldn't breathe, the officers were under a moral and legal obligation to release him enough to remedy the life threatening activity. End of story. The type of "hold" that was used to restrain Garner is irrelevant. There were no exigent circumstances here justifying turning a deaf ear to this man's cries for his life. Let's pray for his family and that the NYPD realizes its errors and does the honorable thing here to make this right.