Eric Garner had a criminal past. That's just one of the new reveals in a post from conservative media site Newsmax and another from the Wall Street Journal.
The Newsmax post, entitled "11 Facts About the Eric Garner Case the Media Won't Tell You," attempts to explain how a grand jury of 23 could bring no charges against the cop who used an illegal chokehold that would result in the so-called "gentle giant's" death.
"Garner, 43, had history of more than 30 arrests dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny," writes Newsmax's Jim Meyers, taking his information from the WSJ report.
(Interesting side note: That would make Garner's first arrest at just 10-years-old, which calls into question how WSJ got its info since those early records should, by all accounts, be unavailable to the public considering Garner was a juvenile at the time he was brought in for the unspecified offense.)
Meyers notes that at the time of Garner's death, he was "out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession, and false impersonation."
Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, adding meat to Meyers' report, attempts to place the death of Eric Garner on the man himself, noting that on the day of Garner's death, he was illegally selling untaxed cigarettes, and that he is technically resisting arrest in the now-viral video depicting his death.
"You cannot resist arrest," Kerik states.
"If Eric Garner did not resist arrest, the outcome of this case would have been very different. He wouldn't be dead today... Regardless of what the arrest was for, the officers don't have the ability to say, 'Well, this is a minor arrest, so we're just going to ignore you.'"
Instead, the people pointing out that Eric Garner was a criminal claim it would have been arrest number 31 over a 34-year period.
Even so, there is the fact that Officer Daniel Pantaleo can be seen on the video below applying a banned chokehold to Garner. To this point, Newsmax notes that the chokehold alone should not have been enough to kill Garner.
At 350 pounds, Garner suffered from "a number of health problems, including heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea."
Also, Garner did not die at the scene, a common misconception among those discussing the case on social media. Instead he "suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance taking him to the hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later," Newsmax notes.
Last but not least, the site points out that the 23 grand jurors, "including nine non-white jurors," heard evidence and testimony over a more than two-month period and that unlike in the Ferguson case of Michael Brown, the evidence has not been made public so going by just the video leaves out a lot regarding why and how the grand jury reached its decision.As a final footnote to the post, Newsmax takes on a popular social media meme -- that the officer under review for killing Eric Garner was not arrested but the man who shot the initial video of it was -- revealing the reason why the man was arrested.
"Less than a month after Garner's death, Ramsey Orta, who shot the much-viewed videotape of the encounter, was indicted on weapons charges. Police alleged that Orta had slipped a.25-caliber handgun into a teenage accomplice's waistband outside a New York hotel."
Does Eric Garner and his criminal past change the way you think about this case? Sound off in our comments section.