December 5, 2014

The NYT and Rush Limbaugh have a similar take on the NYC chokehold incident, but there's a key difference.

The NYT in "It Wasn’t Just the Chokehold/Eric Garner, Daniel Pantaleo and Lethal Police Tactics":
The Garner killing must lead to major changes in policy, particularly in the use of 'broken windows' policing — a strategy in which Officer Pantaleo specialized, according to a report in September by WNYC, which found that he had made hundreds of arrests since joining the force in 2007, leading to at least 259 criminal cases, all but a fraction of those involving petty offenses. The department must find a better way to keep communities safe than aggressively hounding the sellers of loose cigarettes.
Rush Limbaugh had a similar but different focus:
[T]he sole reason why a guy like Eric Garner even has a job selling loosies is that the City of New York is hell-bent on collecting its precious taxes from $13 a pack.  So here come all these black market guys trying to take advantage of the fact that people will pay much less than that if they're given the chance.  This is what the left, liberals never understand about their idiotic tax policies....

Remember, the cops had been summoned by a minority-owned business complaining this guy was hurting his business. You had a minority-owned business owner call the cops and say, "Hey, look, I got a guy selling illegal black market cigarettes out in front of my store. You gotta come do something about it." The cops showed up, because it's a focal point for the city and its tax collection efforts. It was more than one local business. A bunch of them were saying that Garner and people like him were hurting their businesses with cheap cigarettes. He was driving business away....

The people in charge of all this have themselves set the stage for black market circumstances to prosper and thrive. And hello Eric Garner selling loosies. I still can't get over that. Individual illegal cigarettes. It's just stunning....
Number of times the word tax/taxes appears in the Limbaugh transcript: 40.

Number of times the word tax/taxes appears in the NYT article: 0.

128 comments:

Greg Hlatky said...

I am told by my social-justice betters that depriving the government of revenue is an act of terrorism. So Garner had it coming to him.

Bad Lieutenant said...

How are they untaxed? The carton was taxed so the pack they came from was taxed. No?

garage mahal said...

Eric Garner died because of high taxes!

Fredrik Nyman said...

So bottom line: he was killed over some 50 cents in taxes?

Fredrik Nyman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

@Unknown, Loosies were taxed by the carton in the state they were sold, which generally is not NY.

Tank said...

Hannity had Rush's focus too.

Think about four police officers + one (black) sergeant assigned to go arrest one person selling lucys . As I said yesterday, the whole thing stinks. What kind of allocation of assets is that?

It's part of the war on drugs that has distorted so much of our criminal justice system. Everyone knows cigarettes are bad for you, yet some people want to smoke them. Oh, we have to punish those evildoers with taxes. And you get the inevitable black (racist !!!) market.

Matt Sablan said...

"Eric Garner died because of high taxes!"

-- There are a lot of causes, but one of them is, yes, the high cigarette taxes. If you want to ensure police don't use lethal force to stop people from breaking laws you don't want to use force to stop -- change the laws or let the police know what laws they are supposed to enforce against who and which ones they aren't supposed to enforce against who.

New York failed the police force and the citizens.

Matt Sablan said...

"What kind of allocation of assets is that?"

-- Some reports I saw said that they were responding to a complaint about a fight, which would make more sense to send more than one guy. But, a lot of other sources never mention a fight before the police showed up, so I'm not sure how true that is.

Skyler said...

Our nation was founded by tax cheats and smugglers and they fought a war to made their enterprise legal.

New York City was mostly on the other side during the war. They haven't changed.

Mazo Jeff said...

I want to make sure I have this correct. Eric is killed by police for not paying taxes so his family can collect millions and not pay any taxes? How great is this country or what!!

Mr Wibble said...

How are they untaxed? The carton was taxed so the pack they came from was taxed. No?

Not necessarily. There is a huge market for smuggled/stolen cigarettes.

West Town said...

Since those taxes ostensibly go to SCHIP, wasn't Garner stealing from "the children"?

Gusty Winds said...

Watching the Garner video unsettling. It is manslaughter at the least. The cops in that video remind me of hyenas circling and then attacking their prey as a group.

Their lack of concern, and the immediate switch to self-preservation mode when they realize they had done damage to that poor man seems absent of any humanity.

damikesc said...

And the taxes ARE the issue. Black market loose cigarettes don't exist here in SC because, while taxes on cigs are too high here, they aren't insane as they are in NYC.

I love seeing the same Progressives championing ignoring federal law in regards to marijuana killing people over tobacco taxes.

I still have no regrets doing that with cigarettes in NJ several years ago. Black market exists where government makes it a far more preferrable option. We saw it happen in Communist states, but Progressives aren't good at history.

phantommut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick Henry was right! said...

Does the NY Times not remember NY before community policing? It was dreadful, dirty, vulgar and dangerous. Oh, wait, that is what they prefer, just not in midtown Manhattan and the Hamptons. Never mind.......

damikesc said...

Eric Garner died because of high taxes!

Back in the early 2000's, when I travelled between SC and NJ, I could buy a carton of cigs in SC, sell them in NJ and roughly earn triple what I paid and still undersell anybody in NJ because I wasn't going to pay bullshit taxes like that.

West Town said...

How does one subdue a 400 lb man?

khesanh0802 said...

@Skyler: I have never seen the Revolution put quite that way, but there is a high degree of accuracy in your description. Funny!

phantommut said...

The Price of Cigarettes: How Much Does a Pack Cost in Each State

Goju said...

Rudy G had a policy of the NYPD going after minor street offenders. The PD cleaned up the streets by sweeping up the petty thieves roaming around preying on citizens, tourists, etc. Does NYPD still use that approach?
The articles that I have read have either ignored, or only mentioned in passing, that it was several local shop owners that called for the cops.
Unknown, big rig drivers from WI that ran loads to Southern states use to buy cases of cigarettes at about 1/3 of the WI price. They then sold them in WI at prices below state prices. Technically, they were taxed in the state they were bought, but WI taxes were evaded. Drivers may be still doing that. The feds supposedly set up some kind of program to stop it.

phantommut said...

In Virginia the average pack of cigarettes costs less than six bucks. In New York State the average is $14.50. Let's say you can get 1000 packs of cigarettes in the back of your van. By driving from Virginia to Staten Island those 1000 cartons of cigarettes increase in value by $9500.

Not a bad haul for a long day of driving.

So yeah, garage, Eric Garner died because the State has made it worth people's while (especially the poor and marginalized people) to break the law. Sorry if you have trouble wrapping your head around that.

(Sorry: Edited from an earlier comment. I'd mistakenly used "cartons" for "packs." Obviously I'm not a smoker.)

Darrell said...

A PACK of cigs costs $14.50 in NYC.

tim in vermont said...

You can buy cartons up here on the Indian reservation over in NY, I am told, that are un-taxed. I am sure they get smuggled to NY all the time.

Bob Boyd said...

In any endeavor things do not always happen the way you pictured them happening. Criminal activity is no exception, but consequences are high.

An over weight, out of shape, professional criminal fights with four cops, dies of a heart attack resisting arrest.
Unnecessary? The result of an increasingly irresistible avalanche of heat of the moment decisions all around.
But as Hillary tells us in song:
"hindsight's always right"

Shanna said...

There is a huge market for smuggled/stolen cigarettes.

When went to college, their may have been some students who used their leftover meal plan dollars to buy cigarettes, which were then sold at a reduced rate (which went to the students instead of being forfeited to the school) to people who sold them on the streets in DC. But I guess they were still taxed at some point.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

This is such a bullshit misdirection that I am surprised that more people aren't angry with Althouse for treating her readers so contemptuously.

Cops killed an unarmed non-threatening citizen in broad daylight on camera and we still can't get some fucking justice. That is the issue. It is not complicated.

tim in vermont said...

Think of the lives that have been saved by those higher cigarette taxes! If you wan't to make an omelette....


I would have called the death an accident if it weren't well known that these choke holds are sometimes deadly to black men in particular.

If the officer was trained on that, which he should have been, it is manslaughter, if he was not, somebody higher up is guilty of causing death by incompetence or malice indirectly, whatever that is.

garage mahal said...

So yeah, garage, Eric Garner died because the State has made it worth people's while (especially the poor and marginalized people) to break the law. Sorry if you have trouble wrapping your head around that.

Garner's death was ruled a homicide at the hands of cops.

traditionalguy said...

Interesting fact is that the root cause of the Boston Tea party and the British Army's subsequent invasion of Boston that began the American War of Independence was a Crown attempt to take away the wealth made by American smugglers of untaxed imports.

The British wanted to collect back the National Debt they financed in fighting the French for North America.

The King had first tried taking the needed provisions and the horses, oxen and wagons his Army needed here under a declaration of emergency. When they had resisted that robbery the British PM came up with a new plan to pay the colonists for their goods with borrowed moneyand collect the money back from them in import duties and taxes later on. That was just another way to rob them they thought.

tim in vermont said...

Aww, ARM, don't want to talk about the negative consequences of taxation.

It is only a "misdirection" from what you want discussed. There is no rule in a free society of what people can and cannot or should and should not discuss.

Wince said...

Government is what we do together... under threat of violent force.

tim in vermont said...

And garage doesn't want to talk about the negative consequences of taxation either. There is another surprise!

Birkel said...

Mark AReasonableMan down for
1) Ok with the high taxes.
2) Not ok with the enforcement of the high taxes.
3) Wants justice.

As they sometimes say on the internet*: Choose any one.

*I may have misquoted what they often say.

paminwi said...

Yeah to Tim in Vermont! How hard is it to get untaxed cigarettes from a reservation, especially in NY state? Easy! Make one trip, buy as many cartons as you can at each facility, and back to Staten Island you go!

Roll in the dough until the police come after you!

Questions I have: why were so many police were sent to this situation? There were both uniformed and un-uniformed officers AND 2 sergeants! Is it because this guy did have so mamy prior arrests and was known to fight back? If he had asthma as has been stated, did the police not know this from all his other arrests? I am guessing since Staten Island is not that big, some of these officers knew this guy and knew who they were dealing with. There is more to this story than we know at this time.

tim in vermont said...

The New York Times doesn't see fit to discuss the negative consequences of policies they support either.

Unknown said...

"How are they untaxed? The carton was taxed so the pack they came from was taxed. No?"

The cigarettes either "fell off a truck" or were purchased in a state with much lower taxes on tobbacco.

PB said...

the only reason cigarettes are sold in packs of 20 is because the law forbids selling in less numbers. is there a market function for this? No, it is a requirement of the taxing operation.

rehajm said...

NYT hates broken windows policing because punishment for crime falls disproportionately to those who commit it.

Hagar said...

I can remember buying a carton of Pall Malls for $1.35.

But never mind, the market for selling "loosies" exists due to the ridiculously high prices for buying a pack, and the ridiculously high prices are due to "sin taxes" imposed by the gentry left, wishing what is best for the lower classes regardless of how much they yell and resist.

However, the police was called by one (or more, since there were two police units, one uniformed, one plainclothes) legitimate business owners wanting panhandler Eric Garner removed from their business frontage.


And as for the "mob attack" by the police, notice how this "gentle giant" flings the little guys around, like a pack of dogs attacking a bear, until Pantaleo gets his "whatever" hold on him.

No, it is unfortunate that Garner died, whatever the proximate cause was, but I do not see what else the police was supposed to do in this case.

Michael K said...

"Does the NY Times not remember NY before community policing? "

Of course not ! Who do you think they supported for Mayor !

I'm looking forward to the remake of "Death Wish." I estimate about 6 to 8 years. Maybe two terms of DeBlasio.

Anonymous said...

I think it is so cool that our in our fundamentally transformed country we each get to choose the laws we obey and the cops will help us. Talk about Power to the People!

Tank said...



rehajm said...

NYT hates broken windows policing because punishment for crime falls disproportionately to those who commit it.


Ouch.

Hagar said...

Oh, and that cigarettes can only be sold in unbroken packs of 20 is a quite reasonable state requirement for health reasons.

Michael K said...

"Cops killed an unarmed non-threatening citizen"

I agree the entire situation was avoidable and mishandled. But "nonthreatening ?"

Did you watch the video ?

The offense was probably worth a citation, which he would have ignored as he probably ignored previous ones.

Still, it was not worth his, or those cops' lives to enforce the idiotic tax.

You still can't see that ?

Mrs Whatsit said...

The thing that Garage and ARM can't seem to comprehend is that it was draconian tax laws that helped to put Garner into the cops' power in the first place. The cops were given the power to enforce the tax laws, and what they did with that power was to have four guys jump one guy and take him down and kill him for selling a few untaxed cigarettes. People with power sometimes abuse power. When, as liberals like Garage love to do, you give government more and more power, you also create more and more opportunities for people in government to abuse their power. Here, high taxes and strict enforcement policies created the opportunity and lo and behold, abuse happened.

Deny the link if you prefer, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. Things like this will keep happening -- and most often not to comfortable liberal middle-class folks like Garage and ARM, but to poor, marginal people like Garner who can't pretend the truth away -- as long as we keep handing over more and more power over our lives to those who enjoy running our lives. See how that works? (Of course I realize they don't and won't see. But at least I tried.)

Wince said...

Whatever Garner evaded in taxes is a drop in the bucket to what that race hustler standing next to Obama, Al Sharpton, has evaded.

Laslo Spatula said...

Let them smoke cake.

I am Laslo.

Wince said...

I'm interested to see what happens to NYC cigarette tax revenue after this.

Somebody please, please convince the protesters that openly selling loosy cigs is the best form of nonviolent civil disobedience, not snarling traffic.

traditionalguy said...

Its smoke and mirrors. The only window being broken by a simple cigarette customer being supplied a lower cost cigarette at peace was a Revenuer's window.

jr565 said...

I agree that the taxes on cigs are too high. But just beciase a black market is created doesn't mean we need to cater to those Selling cigs through a black market.
Businesses who are complying with the law have a right to have govt protect their interest over those who don't obey the law. And whatever the rules, if you violate them society will set up penalties. If you don't pay those penalties govt will send in the police or the tax man. The only way around tat would be not not have govt regulate commerce.

Hagar said...

This is B.S.

If the cops are not to respond to citizens' complaints to remove lawbreakers and public nuisances, the other option is for businesses to join up and hire, say the New Black Panthers, to protect their businesses.

Is that what you want?

Unknown said...

"When... you give government more and more power, you also create more and more opportunities for people in government to abuse their power."

The abuse may not even be intentional or perceived as abuse. I am reminded of the situation a few months ago where a young girl's parents disagreed with an ER doctor about his diagnosis concerning the girl and the doctor called the state's health and human services department (or whatever they call it in that state) and the girl was taken from their custody for over a year.

The parents weren't trying to prevent a needed blood transfusion and they weren't diagnosing her themselves. Their daughter was under the care of another physician who had diagnosed the girls ailment.

So, for what was essentially a dispute between two physicians the girl was taken from her parents for a year and the parents had to fight to get her back, with all the expense that entails.

Does the state need to intervene in situations were children are being neglected or abused? Absolutely. However, giving that power to the state creates the possibility that well meaning people can use it to prevent what they perceive as neglect and abuse and sometimes that perception is going to mistaken.

Anytime you give anyone power that creates the possibility that it may be misused, often with the best of intentions.

tim in vermont said...

Liberals love laws and hate cops. Sort of funny, but Althouse shouldn't be discussing it!

jr565 said...

Mrswhat's it wrote:
"The thing that Garage and ARM can't seem to comprehend is that it was draconian tax laws that helped to put Garner into the cops' power in the first place. The cops were given the power to enforce the tax laws, and what they did with that power was to have four guys jump one guy and take him down and kill him for selling a few untaxed cigarettes." NOT FOR SELLING CIGARETTES. For resisting. If he had not said DOnt touch me and pull away cops would have needed to tackle him. Don't blame the law then for an incident where someone doesn't want to comply with a cops arresting him.


" People with power sometimes abuse power. When, as liberals like Garage love to do, you give government more and more power, you also create more and more opportunities for people in government to abuse their power. Here, high taxes and strict enforcement policies created the opportunity and lo and behold, abuse happened. "
This is a logical fallacy. What happened during the arrest had nothing to do with thr law the cops were enforcing. He could have done the exact same thing and suffered the same consequences if instead he was arrested for selling cigs to an u de rage kid or robbed someone. Just because he died to,an accident doesn't invalidate the law.

Jane the Actuary said...

Sorry, but I'm just not impressed with Rush, and Rand Paul, and others, using this an an excuse to complain about taxes. Sure, high cigarette taxes are a problem, but that's a topic for another day.

This is about how police subdue suspects -- and whether there are better means or whether we have wrong expectations.

In my own blog post this morning, I suggested that too many people think that police have the equivalent of a phaser, a foolproof means of subduing suspects that causes no harm.

http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/12/set-phasers-to-stun.html

I am, of course, repeating this here, again, because of Ann's commenters who will, of course, actually comment on the topic.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

If you are going to sell cigarettes they are a regulated product. And there are laws that go,with said sales. If you try to not give govt their taxes you can be fined. If you sell to kids you can be fined. That is true for ANY product you sell. Society has to come down in support of legitimate businesses over the black market. Otherwise there's no reason to be in a legitimate business. This requires then that cops,are sometimes called to the scene to deal with the guy standing in front of the legitimate business selling his black market wares.
It sounds like the libertarians have a problem with govt regulating business and collecting tax revenue. I'm not sure which side I'm more annoyed at cranky. The ones using this as a referendum on white racist America. Or,one using it as a referendum on the war on drugs, or the war on taxes. In both cases the cops get thrown under the bus.
But both the liberals,and libertarians are wrong on this.

Shanna said...

Somebody please, please convince the protesters that openly selling loosy cigs is the best form of nonviolent civil disobedience, not snarling traffic

That might actually be pretty entertaining.

Tank said...

It sounds like the libertarians have a problem with govt regulating business and collecting tax revenue.

Doh. We have a winner.

garage mahal said...

The cops were given the power to enforce the tax laws, and what they did with that power was to have four guys jump one guy and take him down and kill him for selling a few untaxed cigarettes.

This is so stupid it makes my head hurt.

Unknown said...

If he had run instead of fighting and died because of a heart attack complicated by asthma and obesity, what would the headlines read?

The notion that the cops killed an unarmed man with a choke hold is so wrong that I can't figure out why it's still being repeated, even if you believe the cops killed him.

Unknown said...

@jr565

You are most likely correct that if Garner hadn't been selling untaxed cigarettes then he would have been involved in some other illegal activity. If nothing else he would have been panhandling. And I'm pretty sure that's illegal in NYC.

So yeah, the cops would have ended up arresting him (again) at some point.

And I agree with JTA that a lot of people seem to believe that the police should be taught the Vulcan Neck Pinch so all that icky violence doesn't need to happen.

(If someone you know thinks that cops should be taught to shoot to injure you know something pretty important about that person; they are idiots who shouldn't be let out of the house without a keeper.)

Nonetheless, government overreach is an issue and this incident does have elements that illustrate that.

MadisonMan said...

If the cops are not to respond to citizens' complaints to remove lawbreakers and public nuisances, the other option is for businesses to join up and hire, say the New Black Panthers, to protect their businesses.

Is that what you want?

When the (New or Old) Black Panthers kill people, they generally face murder charges, as it should be.

Michael said...

Garage

FYI a homicide does not mean a murder.

jr565 said...

Draconian laws are in the eye of the beholder. I'll fully agree that liberals are going crazy with taxing cigarettes. But I'm not going to agree that society should somehow look the other way when people are engaged in illegal activity simply because I find a law draconian. Society lays out the rules you need to comply with to sell cigarettes, and if you comply with them you won't get cops coming to your door.
So if they do come to your door, and you ar won't complying with the law You're wrong.

It would be no different than if there were rules for occupancy in a building and a bar lets more people in than are legally allowed. But that's a non violent crime! So what? You can't have a business open if you don't follow the rules. If you don't like the rules change em. But until you do you're bound by them like every other person or business.

If this guy was instead selling booze from a keg in front of a bar cops would,similarly be called,and he'd get fined and/or arrested. And for good reason. Does he have a license to sell booze? Is he selling booze to kids? Is his booze stolen? There is no regulation of his business. And yet he is standing in front of a bar that had to jump through hoops to get w liquor license, gets penalized if they serve to underage kids, has to pay rent. The black markwt beer seller doesn't get a free pass simply because we think govt is too strict on how we sell booze.
And if cops get a complaint about him they're going to probably give him a ticket. If he's out there every day, they're probably going to. Arrest him.
If in the course of getting arrested he has an asthma attack and dies, it doesn't mean that we need to do away with draconian laws. You're simply using the death of someone to SHAMELESSLY push your agenda.

It was unseemly when blacks did it to,push racial ideology and it's just as unseemly when libertarians do it now.

jr565 said...

MadisonMan wrote:

When the (New or Old) Black Panthers kill people, they generally face murder charges, as it should be.

they should only face murder charges if they actually MURDER someone. at best a single officer might have faced manslaughter charges. NOt murder charges. But it would require he actually used a choke hold. What he used was a take down move.

Unknown said...

(for Blogger tim in Vermont) while it is well known that a choke hold has the ability to, like, CHOKE a victim by depriving them of breath, it is NOT well known that a choke hold results in a heart attack. As far as I know, causing a man to have a heart attack is an unusual way to murder someone. I seem to recall some such cases, but generally they are prosecuted only when the perp actually knows and believes that such can happen.

Original Mike said...

"It sounds like the libertarians have a problem with govt regulating business and collecting tax revenue."

Libertarians have a problem with the level of regulation.

Fernandistein said...

The "Diplomad" sez:
Extrajudicial Execution of a Capitalist in New York
"...
What bothers me a great deal is that Garner had not robbed or assaulted anybody, much less an armed cop. He was neither Michael Brown nor that other thug, Trayvon Martin. His crime? Selling loose cigarettes to passers-by, thereby, depriving the city of a few cents of tax revenue. He died for selling loose cigarettes; he died for not paying a few cents in taxes to the Progressive New York City Leviathan cum Tony Soprano.

Garner was a victim of progressivism's lethality, and shared that fate with millions of other persons around the world. That NYC, my old home town, can afford to send at least eight or nine vastly overpaid and over-equipped cops to bust and kill a guy for selling cigarettes tells us all we need to know about the state of progressive governance in our horribly misled, once great, and former Republic."

And
http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/prison.htm
"Paradoxically[sic], the largest disparities are found in political domains controlled by liberals -- the leaders in the struggle for racial justice[sic]."

Michael said...

The man was in front of a store selling at a deep discount a product the store sells. What he is selling outside the store is illegal. The same product sold in the store is legal. The store owner pays rent, has inventory, pays for half a dozen expensive city licenses. He calls the cops on the guy outside the store because the guy pays no rent and has no licenses and is disrupting his business.

If we let the guy on the street sell his loosies without interference why should the store owner pay for all those licenses, all that rent. Why can't he just roll up a stall like his ancestors did in Hue or Mogidishu or Kinshasha and sell his wares that way.

All loosely goosey.

Obviously there should not be five cops available to restrain such a small affront to our laws, but some laws exist to keep our retail system from simply being moved to the sidewalks.

Mrs Whatsit said...

Ralph Hyatt said: "Anytime you give anyone power that creates the possibility that it may be misused, often with the best of intentions."

Yes, exactly. That says what I wanted to say better than I said it. I shouldn't have characterized the police conduct here as abuse so flatly, as they were doing their jobs and no doubt had no intention of hurting, let alone killing Garner. I was trying to make the point that enlarging the power of government carries a risk of harm that people who like powerful government prefer to ignore -- and that the people who like powerful government are not usually the ones who get hurt by powerful government. Didn't do it nearly as well as I wish I had.

Mark said...

The store complains about Garner taking away cigarette revenue, instead of the massive growth of nicotine vaping (word of the year but it doesn't affect cig sales? doubtful) and the fact that one cannot smoke indoors.

I suppose the cigarette companies blame him too, those loose cigarettes are behind the steady annual reduction in smoking rates (and living smokers).

garage mahal said...

The man was in front of a store selling at a deep discount a product the store sells

Was he though? Is it clear Garner was even selling illegal cigarettes? Where is that proof?

Henry said...

Maybe they're both right. I would like to see advocates push forward on both fronts.

One point I will add: Progressives, almost universally, discount how progressive policies create black markets.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives and Republicans need to adopt the Obama Non-Enforcement Policy on Immigration and apply it to taxation.

Seriously.

And then, when the media erupts, as we know they will, just say, "We don't want any more Eric Garner's."

FullMoon said...

Micheal says:Obviously there should not be five cops available to restrain such a small affront to our laws, but some laws exist to keep our retail system from simply being moved to the sidewalks.

Being outnumbered by people with guns and authority is generally meant to be intimidating enough to ensure co-operation.



Henry said...

Mark wrote: The man was in front of a store selling at a deep discount a product the store sells. What he is selling outside the store is illegal. The same product sold in the store is legal. The store owner pays rent, has inventory, pays for half a dozen expensive city licenses. He calls the cops on the guy outside the store because the guy pays no rent and has no licenses and is disrupting his business.

You make it sound like Garner was an Uber driver.

Or, more telling: Think for a minute about a city that demands retailers to buy a license that it then details cops to enforce. What you have described is the city as a mob protection racket.

Michael said...

Full moon

"Being outnumbered by people with guns and authority is generally meant to be intimidating enough to ensure co-operation."

Clearly. And yet a deployment of limited resources in such a cause as this falls into the technical area of stupid.

Michael said...

Garage

I think the "proof" begins with the cops being called to get the guy away from the front of the store. The cops didn't just show up because they saw a big black guy on the street and wanted to kill him.

Michael said...

Henry

You seem confused.

SGT Ted said...

I had no idea they sold cigs like joints in NYC.

tim in vermont said...

Should police unions have so much political power over the city that employs them?

If not, why doesn't your same argument apply to teacher's unions?

Answer: It all depends on whose ox is getting gored.

Matt Sablan said...

"Garner's death was ruled a homicide at the hands of cops."

-- And when a woman kills her attempted rapist, it is also a homicide. Homicide =/= Murder.

Did the cop break the law/act negligently? With what we've seen, I think it's possible; I'd've voted to indict. But, let's not let the fact we don't like what happened cause us to use muddy word meanings.

Shanna said...

And if cops get a complaint about him they're going to probably give him a ticket.

Um, exactly. Give him a ticket. Give him a fine. If you don't think he'll pay the fine, take it out of the check he was (reportedly) getting from the government.

Or if he's bothering the other businesses, force him to leave that spot. Cops manage to give tickets, and tell people to mosey along all the time without arresting them or restraining them. There is middle ground, here, between lawlessness and skull cracking over minor infractions.

Birkel said...

jr565:
Gandhi was protesting draconian laws in South Africa. Please defend those laws too.

MLK,Jr. was protesting draconian laws too. Please defend those laws.

There are laws on the books that are stupid. Dumblaws.com is a website for a reason.

If you talk to someone in an elevator, -OR- if you don't fold your hands in an elevator -OR- if you policymakers but straight at the doors of the elevator you are committing a crime in New York. Should the police enforce those laws?

dbp said...

Had Garner not resisted arrest, he could have forced NYC to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was violating the law.

He was being arrested on suspicion of breaking a law. He died as a result of resisting arrest.

Not a lawyer but I think there could be a reasonable shot at a civil lawsuit for unreasonable arrest if it could be shown that there was no probable cause for the arrest in the first place. I think the guy had a long prior history of this kind of infraction though.

Henry said...

Michale:

True. At least in terms of confusing your name and Mark's. Sorry for the misattribution.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phantommut said...

If you want more taxes, more regulation, more government involvement in day-to-day life, you will have more unjust consequences.

Government is a blunt instrument. The police are the sharpest edge of that blunt instrument, but I doubt the average individual officer is any sharper than the average person on the street. The thing is, cops get slack other don't because they're Government, and everyone knows Government is what we choose to do together.

No one is arguing that the cops didn't kill Garner. And if by "justice" you mean you want the cop who put Garner in a chokehold lynched, well all I can say is a riot is an ugly thing. My thought is that we shouldn't be creating environments where cops end up killing guys just trying to make a living.

Anonymous said...

Progressives, almost universally, discount how progressive policies create black markets.

Ronald "War on Drugs" Reagan was a progressive?

FullMoon said...


Blogger Michael said...

Full moon

"Being outnumbered by people with guns and authority is generally meant to be intimidating enough to ensure co-operation."

Clearly. And yet a deployment of limited resources in such a cause as this falls into the technical area of stupid.
Respectfully disagree. Show of force generally gonna result in quick ticket or arrest.10 minutes, everybody on their way. One on one with a man (or woman) with a mercurial temper can escalate quickly, ala Mike Brown

Hagar said...

The way it is supposed to work in English-speaking countries is that when the police observe a person engaged in what they believe is an illegal activity - whether as a result of receiving a complaint or in the course of their daily patrols in the community - they are supposed to arrest that person and bring him before a magistrate who will determine if the person should be released or held over for trial.

That is the basic outline that we follow.

When the cops request you to accompany them to see a magistrate, that is not a negotiable proposition.
You go, or they take take you. That is what we pay them for.

garage mahal said...

He died as a result of resisting arrest.

Oh bullshit.

Michael said...

Garage

So you contend that he would have been killed even if he had surrendered?

phantommut said...

Or, more telling: Think for a minute about a city that demands retailers to buy a license that it then details cops to enforce. What you have described is the city as a mob protection racket.

Do you think it's a coincidence that Staten Island has a disproportionate population of NYPD officers and home to the vestiges of the old-time Sicilian-American mob? It's the same business model.

Eugene said...

Utah (62 percent Mormon) imposes a tax of $1.70 on a pack of cigarettes; in New York it's a whopping $4.35. In Pennsylvania it's $1.60. Drive a few more miles south to Virginia and it's $.30. Thirty cents. Even to the law-abiding, that just screams "business opportunity."

Yancey Ward said...

The New York Times is in a tough, tough position- it can't just come out and say that the police shouldn't be enforcing the city's cigarette tax since the paper is on the record supporting the incredibly high tax on cigarettes. In other words, the editorial board is complicit to some extent in Garner's death- that is why the story never once uses the word "tax".

Henry said...

madisonfella wrote:

Ronald "War on Drugs" Reagan was a progressive?

Point taken. Progressives should take note.

Known Unknown said...

Ronald "War on Drugs" Reagan was a progressive?

No, he was a a squirrel.

Alex said...

Notice garage has no problem with a police state. He has a problem with THIS police state that targets obese black men for selling loosies.

Alex said...

If garage was suddenly a kapo in a leftist Nazi regime, do you think he would show any of us mercy?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I can see why Bitchtits is concerned with anything that threatens obese people.

Self preservation is strong.

JHapp said...

Yancey, but can Rush say the police should not enforce this law when he wants them to enforce immigration law?

Gahrie said...

Yancey, but can Rush say the police should not enforce this law when he wants them to enforce immigration law?

Rush isn't saying that police shouldn't enforce the law. He is saying that the laws concerning taxes on cigarettes are unjust and should be repealed, so the police won't have to enforce them.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Several issues here:
1) Whether or not police using excessive force

2) How people should react when being apprehended by police

3) Whether or not the law that is being enforced is appropriate

None of the media want to address all three of these - they just address the one(s) that fit into their current favorite issues.

Hagar said...

Police do not enforce the laws. Judges do.

Tank said...

Stephen Carter at Bloomberg:

On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce. Usually they greet this advice with something between skepticism and puzzlement, until I remind them that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you.

I wish this caution were only theoretical. It isn’t. Whatever your view on the refusal of a New York City grand jury to indict the police officer whose chokehold apparently led to the death of Eric Garner, it’s useful to remember the crime that Garner is alleged to have committed: He was selling individual cigarettes, or loosies, in violation of New York law.

Steven Wilson said...

Anarchy on the macro scale and tyranny on the minor one.

Garner is dead because he resisted arrest as overwhelming force was deployed to stop what amounts to penny ante crime. Meanwhile on our souther border especially...

I am comforted somewhat in knowing that only upstanding, law abiding citizens indulge in illegal immigration otherwise this might not end well.

damikesc said...

Cops killed an unarmed non-threatening citizen in broad daylight on camera and we still can't get some fucking justice. That is the issue. It is not complicated.

A Progressive has no interest in WHY this happened?

Is it because the narrative isn't beneficial?

As Instapundit said, maybe these cops should come down to SC and learn how to police properly. When police misbehave here, they actually get indicted.

Garner's death was ruled a homicide at the hands of cops.

9/11 was caused by angry Muslims.

Progressives spent a lot of time trying to figure out WHY they angry.

But why did a man commit a crime and why did the cops over-react to such a nothingburger of a crime?

NO INTEREST IN WHY THERE!

This is B.S.

If the cops are not to respond to citizens' complaints to remove lawbreakers and public nuisances, the other option is for businesses to join up and hire, say the New Black Panthers, to protect their businesses.


Want the government to pass asinine laws?

This is how the government ENFORCES asinine laws.

Perhaps the issue might be the asinine law...

garage mahal said...

I can see why Bitchtits is concerned with anything that threatens obese people.

Chickenshit says what?

n.n said...

The problem does not lie with the police, not even with the legislators. The problem is endemic to diverse, high-density population centers. Since there cannot be full employment, there is a need for large-scale redistribution.

This is, in fact, why Obamacare was a critical policy for Democrats, who overwhelmingly control diverse, high-density population centers. They do not want to pay for their local burden -- the survivors of planned parenthood. So, they enforce nation-wide redistribution policies in order to share their responsibility. It's the same motive for mass emigration from second and third-world nations. These urban elites and cronies want to have their cake and eat it too.

Wilbur said...

This is how these things go down.

Storeowner calls police, complains about guy selling Loose cigs outside his store. Policeman shows up, cites him, maybe warns him to move on.

Guy is back the next day. Owner calls precinct captain, complains. Same thing goes down.

Owner calls his local political rep, whether a commissioner, alderman, whoever, leans on him. Mr. Politico calls precinct captain, who tells his officers that guy has to go.

This time they show up with four or five officers, knowing they may have to make an arrest. They end up fighting him. Felony charges ensue.

Seen it literally hundreds of times over the years. Garner was just unlucky.

Drago said...

damikesc: "A Progressive has no interest in WHY this happened?"

Lefties are very very very interested in "context".

Except when they are not.

MadisonMan said...

He was selling individual cigarettes, or loosies, in violation of New York law

Say I'm a Shopkeeper in NYC selling Cigarettes. I pay the taxes, and the people selling loosies are cutting into my profit margin, which is aggravating.

But I'm not going to want those people dead (At least, I don't think so; maybe NYC Shopkeeping would make me [even more] jaded though). So will I now call the cops on them, knowing that death is a possible outcome? No. Over-enforcement of anything will just cut any trust people have for the police.

richardsson said...

The real villain here is Mayor Bloomberg who proposed stupid laws governing behavior that is none of his business and without considering secondary and tertiary consequences of such laws. It really boggles my mind how many people we have meddling in our politics who are so brilliant at business and so stupid at politics. Some people here missed Limbaugh's point. It's not the only that the taxes were high, they were stupidly high. Anybody who bought cigarettes legally in New York was a chump. At one time, I read that it cost eleven cents to make a pack of cigarettes; after markup, everything else is taxes. Glenn Reynolds has an interesting quote from Stephen Carter, "I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce." Whenever I hear someone say "we need to do something about ..." I usually reply, "Do something? How about setting your hair on fire? That's something."

Bruce Hayden said...

Volokh@WaPo: Don’t support laws you are not willing to kill to enforce Discusses the statement by Yale law prof Stephen Carter mentioned above:

On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce. Usually they greet this advice with something between skepticism and puzzlement, until I remind them that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you.

I wish this caution were only theoretical. It isn’t. Whatever your view on the refusal of a New York City grand jury to indict the police officer whose chokehold apparently led to the death of Eric Garner, it’s useful to remember the crime that Garner is alleged to have committed: He was selling individual cigarettes, or loosies, in violation of New York law…..

The problem is actually broader. It’s not just cigarette tax laws that can lead to the death of those the police seek to arrest. It’s every law. Libertarians argue that we have far too many laws, and the Garner case offers evidence that they’re right. I often tell my students that there will never be a perfect technology of law enforcement, and therefore it is unavoidable that there will be situations where police err on the side of too much violence rather than too little. Better training won’t lead to perfection. But fewer laws would mean fewer opportunities for official violence to get out of hand.

jr565 said...

Skyler wrote; Our nation was founded by tax cheats and smugglers and they fought a war to made their enterprise legal.

Tea Partiers/libertarians (whichever you are) the party of tax cheats and smugglers. Has a nice ring to it.

jr565 said...

Gahrie wrote:
Rush isn't saying that police shouldn't enforce the law. He is saying that the laws concerning taxes on cigarettes are unjust and should be repealed, so the police won't have to enforce them.

and those pushing for immigration reform are making the same argument when it comes to illegal immigration.

jr565 said...

Madison man wrote:
Say I'm a Shopkeeper in NYC selling Cigarettes. I pay the taxes, and the people selling loosies are cutting into my profit margin, which is aggravating.

But I'm not going to want those people dead (At least, I don't think so; maybe NYC Shopkeeping would make me [even more] jaded though). So will I now call the cops on them, knowing that death is a possible outcome? No. Over-enforcement of anything will just cut any trust people have for the police.

I was with you until you got to the part about death being a possible outcome. And then you lost me.
Garner's death is an anomaly. Most people don't die when cops pull them to the ground. It does happen on occasion, but you could make the same argument about football. Or boxing. On occasion someone will die or be left with brain damage or be paralyzed. So, ban boxing and football? Or guns.
You, as a business owner abiding by the rules have every right to not have a competitor who isn't selling illegally in front of you store. Since you are paying the rent, and dealing with the regulations and he's selling cigs and keeping all the cash. The idea that you wouldn't call the cops on the off chance that someone might die if they came to arrest him makes little sense. Since the odds of that happening are very slim. But you having your business impacted is extremely likely

PeterK said...

"There is a huge market for smuggled/stolen cigarettes. "
and don't forget that cigarettes sold on the NY Indian reservations are untaxed.
plenty of avenues to bring in cigarettes. they still hijack cigarette trucks down in the Carolinas

Gospace said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

If the NYPD has the manpower to enforce these petty tax evasions then not only are things wonderful in the city but the department is overmanned and is in need of a reduction in force.

Bruce Hayden said...

JRxxx - it isn't that cops killing people is expected in any specific instance, but, in the aggregate, may result in the case of any specific law, and is likely, the more generic the category of law. The problem is the interaction between the laws of large numbers interacting with the humanity and fallibility of the police. They are human, fallible, and, making things possibly worse, government employees.

Hagar said...

If the police does not respond when I call in about a lawbreaker creating a nuisance out front of my house, I most certainly will write a Letter to the Editor and call my City Councilor to complain about it.
At a minimum.

jr565 said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:

JRxxx - it isn't that cops killing people is expected in any specific instance, but, in the aggregate, may result in the case of any specific law, and is likely, the more generic the category of law. The problem is the interaction between the laws of large numbers interacting with the humanity and fallibility of the police. They are human, fallible, and, making things possibly worse, government employees.

But that's built into the equation already. Even for things we might agree with. If you are for gun rights you have to acknowledge that there will be a percentage of people who use guns in bad ways. So too with laws. You could have the greatest law, but it might ensnare an innocent person. That alone shouldn't invalidate the law.
If you want to talk about cig taxes being too high I'll agree. But it still is something govt does, which is regulate commerce. So, what the tax is is largely immaterial. There are plenty of great reasons to get rid of the tax, but I don't think we should fault the tax for the death of someone who died resisting arrest.

Douglas said...

Apparently, Prof. Stephen Carter at Yale tells his students that they should ask themselves, whenever they think they want a law about something, whether they would be willing to have the Government kill a violator in the process of enforcing the law.