If a picture's worth a thousand words, how come this one didn't convince 23 grand jurors? That is the question being asked in New York City and throughout the country in the wake of a grand jury's failure to indict Officer Daniel Panteleo in connection with the death of Eric Garner this past summer.
For all the debate about the specifics of each case, and the need for body cameras, reformed grand jury procedures, training, diverse police forces and alike, the Garner case brings another critical macro issue to the surface about the intensity of policing in a time of low crime rates.
There is a real risk of serious medical neglect and even death any time an indifferent police force or corrections department has custody of anyone -- particularly the most vulnerable people: the mentally ill; the infirm; the young. It is time to limit these encounters to only the most extreme cases of violence and criminality.
The manner in which law enforcement protects this country is a reflection of the values within our society, and everything from "stop-and-frisk" to racial profiling speak volumes of who we are as a nation.
I suggest to you, Mr. Police Commissioner, that you sit with your leadership, that you bring your force together, and say, we now have a new day at NYPD. We can't continue this way.
The role of the prosecutor in America is a powerful one perhaps unequaled in both power and envy. They execute their duties with almost unbridled discretion and their decisions to charge or not are exercised with virtually no immediate accountability save the ballot box.
We cannot allow Eric Garner's sadly prophetic next words, "It stops today," to refer only to his life. It is past time that we admit what so many have known for too long: That all too often, our justice system simply is not just.
There are many fine officers who are careful and restrained in their use of force, but as long as the system protects those who cross the line, even in a case where the killing was filmed and the death was ruled by the coroner to be a homicide, public anger and distrust toward law enforcement will only grow.
In the wake of the death of Eric Garner, and the lack of indictment of the officer who killed him, I am heart-broken. I did not know Eric, nor did I k...
While much of the protests revolving around Ferguson and Staten Island now revolve around race, there is an even more troubling dynamic and that is the perversion of the legal system in both instances to trust itself.
Did Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo receive special or unorthodox treatment from prosecutors that resulted in the return of a "no bill"? It's difficult to answer this question because the grand juries handling both of these investigations met behind closed doors.
These critical moments offer us an opportunity to consider how silence within privileged communities, such as the ones at PWIs (Predominately White Institutions), perpetuates the systemic violence we see in our world.
Thousands made it across the finish line, exhausted, though elated. And behind the scenes was an incredible demonstration of how a city like New York was able to deter acts of aggression and protect the runners, the spectators and the thousands of workers who helped pull off this major event without serious mishap.
The Staten Island Grand Jury can return an indictment. The public may expect the Staten Island Grand Jury to return an indictment. However the reality may prove to be quite different. It may come down to no indictment in Ferguson and no indictment in the chokehold NYPD case of Eric Garner.