The aftermath of the tragic death of Eric Garner, a New York man who was choked to death by police for selling illegal cigarettes (read about the circumstances of his death in this Inquisitrarticle), reveals a broken system that blames the victim, and is slow to hold accountable those who are responsible.
In a bit of somewhat good news, WABC-TV (New York) is reporting that four of the EMT’s on the scene have been suspended without pay by Richmond University Medical Center for apparently ignoring his lifeless body for several minutes before someone took action.
Taisha Allen, the woman who shot the original viral video that caused this story to gain national attention, said “[Garner] was on the ground for a good ten minutes, no response whatsoever. When they put him in the gurney and put him to the side, EMS was stopped right there because they were trying to work on him.”
As for the police officers involved in Garner’s death, the NYPD’s response has been less than enthusiastic. As reported in this Inquisitr article, Daniel Pataleo, the NYPD officer who placed Eric Garner in the illegal chokehold that ultimately cost him his life, has been placed on desk duty. Another officer, Justin Damico, was also placed on desk duty, according to New York Daily News.
The Daily News is also reporting that an internal NYPD report on Garner’s arrest failed to mention the illegal chokehold, and stated that Garner “did not appear to be in great distress” and that “[Garner’s] condition did not seem serious and that he did not appear to get worse.”
New York mayor Bill DiBlasio, currently on vacation in Italy, appears to be taking a measured and diplomatic approach to the situation. In the Washington Post, DiBlasio is quoted as saying, “Like so many New Yorkers I was very troubled by the video I reviewed earlier today.”
However, as he was quoted in the Daily News:
“I… emphasize that you need a full investigation, because all sides need to be heard and all evidence looked at.”
The response in the greater law enforcement community seems to be generally un-sympathetic to Garner, and in some cases is downright vitriolic. Joe Coscarelli of New York Magazine was able to glean comments from police-only message boards; what he found was disturbing. Take what user “kopinyc” says.
“A more accurate headline would be “Non Compliant Fat Bastard Gets Just Due In Resisting Law Enforcement Officers.”
Staten Island Live reports that Eric Garner’s funeral will be held Wednesday at 2:00 P.M. (local time) at Bethel Baptist Church in Brooklyn.
Image source: CBS New York