In the wake of the New York grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo for causing the death of Eric Garner, protestors headed to the street. Elsewhere, many cops headed to the internet to express their relief that Panteleo would not be charged with murder and to express their fears that a different verdict could have been “payback for Ferguson.“
On Thee Rant, a message board used by New York Police Department officers, many posters expressed their relief at the grand jury’s decision and voiced their concern for backlash against fellow police officers
“I was afraid this was going to be payback for Ferguson,” writes one. “Thankfully that wasn’t the case.”
“To all the active cops working, be alert,” says another. “Put your cellphones away, and watch each other’s backs.”
Officer Joe Bolton wrote “The grand jury’s decision proved that the system works.”
“You can hook up every cop in the nation with body cams, but the system, which is comprised of everyday citizens, ultimately decide the fate of all. This is our jury system, and it’s not a lynch mob, it’s a democratic process.”
Such sentiments were echoed by posters on PoliceOne, a national law enforcement website with restricted membership.
“Every now and then we win one. Horrible situation, man lost his life, but like in the Ferguson case he controlled his own destiny.”
Many posters on the site appeared angry at the way Mr Pantaleo’s restraining move had been described in the media as a “chokehold.”
“He was not choked to death,” writes officerloney. “He was taken down by the neck after refusing to comply with the lawful arrest of officers of the NYPD.”
Other posters, such as Aviano2, were keen to tackle the racial issues surrounding the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases head on.
“I’m sorry for past issues involving race that I DIDN’T have anything to do with; but if you don’t listen to what I’m telling you – like you are under arrest – then any problems from that point on are your fault!”
Others seemed to suggest that that public were somewhat ignorant and ungrateful of the real work police officers do, and that the masses did not appreciate how different things could be if police officers did not constantly strive to go beyond and above the call of duty.
“Answer calls, take reports, TAKE YOUR PAYCHECK, and go home. Don’t be proactive; let the neighbourhood destroy itself.”
“Honour dictates we give eight hours of work for eight hours of pay, but it does not require we sacrifice ourselves for a community who routinely sides with the criminals,” says another, before Aviano25 added:
“Maybe someday, the majority of the public will look up from the TV and wonder what the hell happened to the country. Maybe they will actually want to see the laws that they passed enforced. Maybe they will want to feel safe in their communities. And if they’re very lucky, there might still be a cop around that gives a damn.”