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December 04, 2014

Eric Garner's Arrest Overseen by Female Black Sergeant

You never quite get all the facts upfront from the media, do you?

Those on the "Manslaughter" side of the fence will say this doesn't matter (and I guess will say it also doesn't matter that the two sergeants present, in command of the arrest, were given immunity in exchange for their testimony). They'll say, "Fine, so it's not about race, but it's still about excessive force."

My problem with that is: Absent the element of race, no one talks about this case, ever, at all. If Eric Garner were white, we'd've never heard a single word about this.

It's also important because Eric Holder is threatening to launch some kind of civil rights violation investigation. But given that the arrest was supervised by a black woman, it seems very hard to make the case that some White Dudes conspired to deprive a black man of his civil rights.

As Pete Hamil wrote:

"Having that black sergeant in charge of that crime scene takes race out of the equation. As awful as Pantaleo's actions appear on that video, at no time does that black sergeant order Pantaleo to stop choking Garner.

..."Any chance of a federal civil rights case will be hampered by that African-American police sergeant’s presence."

Even ignoring the race of the sergeant, the mere fact that a superior officer (two of them, in fact) were on site and never told Pantaleo to release the hold strongly undermines claims that Pantaleo acted "recklessly." One could still make that case, but one has to now also claim that two supervising sergeants were on scene and neither one of them noticed this "reckless" behavior, either.

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posted by Ace at 06:26 PM

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