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December 03, 2014

So Like Everyone On the Right is Now Outraged by the Garner Death Just Like They Were Outrage by the "Militarization of Police" in Ferguson

I'm a dissenter.

Frankly, I think everyone on the right is looking to prove "We're not one of those sorts of people who automatically defends anyone who kills a black person."

And we did that in three Racial Incidents running. I know my first reaction in both Trayvon Martin's case, and in Michael Brown's case, was to side with the black victim.

And maybe this is the wrong time to put my foot down, but I've been suckered twice, and I won't be suckered a third time.

Did Eric Garner deserve to die? No. The crime that began all this was selling "Loosies," single cigarettes out of the pack, in defiance of the state tobacco tax laws and all the other nonsense laws they throw on people about only selling things in their original packaging. Minor shit. Nonsense.

And yet, he defied police orders when they attempted to arrest them. When they tried to cuff him, he defied them again, pulling his arms away. He decided, as a Jury of One, that the law was silly and he would not be being arrested today.

I can't entirely blame him for feeling that way, but I know that if the police attempt to arrest you for a law which you are in fact breaking, even if you think it's a minor harassing sort of law, you do not have the right to resist arrest.

What followed is what follows in all resisting-arrest cases: some escalating violence as the police attempt to physically impose their will on the noncompliant suspect.

Some number of such situations will result in the death of the suspect.

I guess I just don't understand how we say this guy is guilty of manslaughter, given that in almost all cases where a guy's heart just gives out in a struggle, we could find some error in procedure as a hook to throw the guy in jail for.

This is a tragedy, in my mind. Eric Garner wasn't much of a criminal threat, and the police did seem too eager to use force.

Nevertheless, we actually pay them to use force when a law-breaking suspect (even one breaking a trivial law) resists arrest. That is the job we've given them.

To say this guy is guilty of murder or manslaughter seems to me to be a case of scapegoating the people we've tasked with implementing a policy that we have imposed ourselves.

If trivial laws should not provide grounds for arrest, We should change the laws to say so.

If cops should just let a non-compliant but non-felony suspect go if he resists arrest, we should make that officially part of their job description.

We did something similar -- wrongly, I think, but we did it-- when we made it police policy to let felony flight cases just drive away, rather than engage in a high-speed chase. (Except when cops suspect a major felony.)

Now, if we're keeping the laws as they are, and sending out cops to enforce piece-of-shit minor laws and arrest people rather than cite them with a ticket, that's on us.

And we have to accept that out of every 10,000 or so arrests, there are going to be some deaths. Some deaths will be the kind where we can definitely say the cop was culpable and committed a great crime.

Others, however, will simply be the result of mistakes and misfortunes, and will be due to decisions we have made as a society every bit as they are the fault of the officer executing our policy.

This just doesn't look like murder to me. Or manslaughter. It's not like the cops wanted to be there. We were paying them to have this encounter. Having this encounter was the duty we charged them with.

The definition of a scapegoat is an individual made to suffer for decisions made by the group.

I'm tired of all the scapegoating of late.

Objection: Inspector Cussword takes strong exception to my attempt to read his mind and his True Beliefs, in claiming that people on the right just want to get on the liberal side on one of these cases.

That's fair. I shouldn't have done that.

That said, in three situations running, I have seen many people on the right take the "liberal" side of the argument initially.

It does seem to be a pattern.

It could be that this is, as I suggested, the wrong time for me to decide I won't be hoodwinked. I have to confess, I saw this video of Eric Garner's killing a long time ago, and my impression when I saw it was -- Shit, that is a callous thing I just saw, which resulted in a man's death.

But I guess I'm just sick of being bamboozled by a media that reports only one side of these cases, and the Mob's pressurizing of all comers to Join the Mob.

I may be reacting too quickly here -- in the opposite direction.

Well, I'll keep an open mind.

But what I reject is this idea that if a man dies, there must be a criminal violation.

That's simply way false. There are situations in which a homicide (all deaths caused by men are homicides, whether crimes or not) are legal.

Self-defense (Trayvon Martin) is one such case.

Effecting a lawful arrest is another.

Without something I can look at and feel, in my gut, When that guy did that, he was acting so far out of bounds he's guilty of the most serious crime that exists, I'm inclined to resist the quick judgment.



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posted by Ace at 05:04 PM

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