After four months of reviewing the evidence, a majority on the panel concluded there was not enough there to charge Pantaleo with manslaughter, reckless endangerment or criminally negligent homicide. The 23-member grand jury, sources said, was comprised of 14 whites, with the rest being black or Hispanic.I wrote about Garner in the Daily News a few months ago and stand by it. And here's everything I've blogged about the incident. And see this in the Times.
I will add:
A) I'm a bit surprised that the officer wasn't indicted. My money would have been on an indictment.
B) The cop is lucky as hell he killed a guy in Staten Island (as opposed to Brooklyn or the Bronx).
C) I strongly suspect the officer is a dick. Now this isn't based on fact but just my own small-minded prejudice. But from my limited experience policing, when you have a group of cops, the cop who first gets physical? The cop who jumps on an unarmed suspect? The cop who, with a half dozen other cops right there still deems it necessary to single-handedly take a guy down? Half a dozen other cops, smart cops, also there at the scene didn't see a need to get physical right there and then. And one cop decides to get physical? And getting physical is a way you can't get yourself cleanly out of? From my experience: 9 times out of 10 that cop, the most aggressive cop, is a dick. And 10 times out of 10 the cop who is most aggressive sets the tone for the entire incident.
But being a dick isn't a crime. Nor is a chokehold.
D) But a chokehold is against departmental rules. That officer is now going to be f*cked by the department. It is written.
E) And yet... I still keep thinking that a fat guy in horrible shape maybe shouldn't make such a stupid choice as to actively resist arrest. The force stops when the resistance stops. He died. There seemed to be no intent to kill anybody. You might have bad policy, bad tactics, and a tragedy, but even all of that together doesn't equal a crime.
F) I would love for just one "progressive" liberal to come out against New York City's crazy cigarettes taxes and prohibition against selling loosies (individual cigarettes). By one estimate (in the Bronx) 76%(!) of cigarettes are now bootlegged! Prohibition has consequences, particularly -- historically and today -- for minorities.
I'm off to Mexico for a week. Comment nicely and stay safe.