July 16, 2019

"The Justice Department will not bring federal charges against a New York City police officer in the death of Eric Garner, ending a yearslong inquiry..."

"... into a case that sharply divided officials and prompted national protests over excessive force by the police, according to three people briefed on the decision....  A state grand jury declined to bring charges against Officer Pantaleo in December 2014.... But a federal investigation into Mr. Garner’s death proceeded, sharply dividing the Justice Department under four attorneys general and two presidents.... The attorney general at the time of the death, Eric H. Holder Jr., said that evidence strongly suggested that the federal government should bring charges against Officer Pantaleo.... While career civil rights prosecutors agreed with Mr. Holder, prosecutors under the United States attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta E. Lynch, sharply disagreed.... After Ms. Lynch succeeded Mr. Holder in April 2015, officials... worked to convince her that the officers had used excessive force and had likely violated Mr. Garner’s civil rights.... But the case stalled again after Mr. Trump won the presidential election and appointed Jeff Sessions as his attorney general. Civil rights division prosecutors recommended that charges be brought, and they asked the deputy attorney general at the time, Rod J. Rosenstein, about indicting Officer Pantaleo. But Mr. Rosenstein did not allow the department to move forward on an indictment, and many officials said they believed that there was a good chance that the government would lose the case should it go to trial...."

From "Eric Garner’s Death Will Not Lead to Federal Charges for N.Y.P.D. Officer/The decision came five years after Mr. Garner’s dying words — 'I can’t breathe' — became a rallying cry" (NYT).

47 comments:

blnelson2 said...

Good.

John henry said...

I hope this is not off topic but let's remember why Eric Garner died:

He was resisting arrest for tax evasion. (Selling untaxed cigarettes. Selling without paying sales taxes. Selling without a city license and taxes)

Not that I think he was killed on purpose in this case. Just that it is always a good idea to remember that taxes are collected by men and women with guns. They will collect the money eventually or you will ultimately wind up dead. And they will still probably get the taxes owed from your estate if you have one.

John Henry

Birches said...

So Lynch declined to prosecute, but we're going to try hard to pin it on Trump. Got it, NYT.

CWJ said...

I can't imagine the psychic hell through which Officer Pantaleo went these past five years. Waking up every day not knowing what will happen to you, but knowing that you're no more than a gnat subject to shifting politics and players.

Fen said...

Odd phrasing. Deliberate?

The attorney general at the time of the death, Eric H. Holder Jr., said that evidence strongly suggested that the federal government should bring charges against Officer Pantaleo...

While career civil rights prosecutors agreed with Mr. Holder, prosecutors under the United States attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta E. Lynch, sharply disagreed. Officer Pantaleo had testified that he intended to put Mr. Garner into a takedown hold that would not restrict his breathing and that it was not clear whether the dead man’s civil rights had been violated.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn and in Washington also disagreed about whether a passer-by’s cellphone video supported Officer Pantaleo’s account.


Did the prosecutors in Brooklyn and Washington disagree with Holder or Lynch? Or did they disagree with each other?

James K said...

At the time the MSM universally described what Pantaleo did as a "chokehold," which would have been illegal (or at least against department policy). Yet it was far from clear that it was anything other than ordinary restraint of a very large and unruly man.

AustinRoth said...

This may or may not warrant state charges, but I am sick of every crime literally having to be turned into a Federal offense.

Mike Sylwester said...

Blacks disproportionately resist or evade arrest.

That's why Blacks disproportionately are shot by police officers.

-----

I speculate that many Blacks figure -- some of them consciously and some of them subconsciously -- that they might be able to benefit from "excessive" actions by "racist" police officers.

In other words, if a police officer tries to deal with the Black's resistance/evasion, then a situation might develop in which the officer can be accused of racism and so the Black ultimately will be excused from his original wrong-doing. The Black might even be able to receive a monetary compensation.

Jeff Weimer said...

The problem wasn't excessive force, it was the law that compelled enforcement in the first place.

Mike Sylwester said...

The Federal Government had to take over the ultimate decision, because the city and state of New York are racist.

Mike Sylwester said...

The Obama Administration's Attorney General Loretta Lynch threatened to bring a federal charge against the New York police in this Garner matter if the New York police persisted in leaking information about Anthony Weiner having Hillary Clinton's e-mails on his laptop.

Mike Sylwester said...

See my blog article Blacks are more likely to be shot by police because they resist arrest

Ray - SoCal said...

I’m surprised more has not come out in Weiner’s laptop...

mccullough said...

Sell cigarettes in front of Holders house.

Then you’ll know what he believes.

madAsHell said...

persisted in leaking information about Anthony Weiner having Hillary Clinton's e-mails on his laptop.

It would be interesting to see the FISA records during September, and October of 2016.

James K said...

I’m surprised more has not come out in Weiner’s laptop...

It slows things down when they have to examine it in hazmat suits.

rcocean said...

IRC, Garner did not die because of a choke-hold, he died of a heart attack 15 minutes later on the way to the hospital. He was massively overweight and had asthma, which is a good reason not to resist arrest. Evidently, its now the job of the police to check your medical records and call your doctor before they arrest you.

Further, one of the cops on the scene was a POC, and the policewoman ordering the arrest was a POC. But i'm sorry to confuse everyone with facts.

Bruce Hayden said...

Here is my attempt at simplifying the story.

Garner was a long term tax scofflaw. Yes, they were cigarette taxes, and not real taxes like income taxes. But taxes, none the less. And the government runs on tax receipts. If tax scofflaws were allowed to get away with not paying their taxes, eventually no one would pay, and all of the bureaucrats employed by the government would be out of their jobs, complete with the sort of defined benefit pensions the rest of us can only dream about.

So, the cops tried to arrest Garner. He was big, out of shape, and belligerent. And Black. One cop did something to Garner that looked like a chokehold, but wasn’t, instead being the standard technique taught and endorsed by the Police bureaucracy. Garner then died. He very likely wouldn’t have died if he hadn’t fought, or hadn’t verged on morbid obesity. Was his death intentional? No real evidence of that. Was his death negligent? Maybe, but that would mostly be on the NYPD for their training. Racially motivated? Only to the extent that minorities are more likely to be illegally selling onsie cigarettes.

But then Black Lives Matter arrived on the scene. And Obama and Holder jumped on board, likely for their own partisan reasons (at least on the part of Obama whose ancestors were slave owners, not slaves). And the DoJ started trying to shoehorn every BLM death into a civil rights case (even that of Trayvon Martin, despite Zimmerman being a civilian). Under normal criminal laws, the BLM deaths were not unlawful. Both Martin and Brown were trying to kill the guy who ultimately killed them in justified self defense, and Garner essentially mostly killed himself. But Blacks now finally had their guy in the White House (and, even more, as AG). What good were their votes, if they couldn’t get payback? Except that the only person high enough up to make it happen, and corrupt enough to jettison even handed application of the law, was AG Holder. And then he left office... (Never thought that I would say anything nice about Loretta Lynch even by implication, but there it is)

EDH said...

Garner did not die of a choke-hold. The city government officials with responsibility for his avoidable death were not on the sidewalk that day.

rcocean said...

The whole lets try him for civil rights violation is just a sneaky way to get around "Double Jeopardy" for people in the protected classes. But 5 SCOTUS judges disagreed.

rcocean said...

"He very likely wouldn’t have died if he hadn’t fought, or hadn’t verged on morbid obesity."

The main thing is he didn't choke to death. The nexus between the police choke hold and his death by heart attack was never proven.

rcocean said...

The mistake was letting the white cop administer the so-called choke hold. Had a black cop done it, there would've been no civil rights violation. which shows how absurd it it.

Bruce Hayden said...

“The Obama Administration's Attorney General Loretta Lynch threatened to bring a federal charge against the New York police in this Garner matter if the New York police persisted in leaking information about Anthony Weiner having Hillary Clinton's e-mails on his laptop”

Takesie backsie what I said about Lynch. Thanks for the reminder.

Leland said...

Shame on Trump for not firing Rosenstein!

Known Unknown said...

He's dead in part because the Government of the State of New York were not getting the total amount of taxes from the sale of cigarettes.

Think about that for a second.

Char Char Binks said...

It was a chokehold so powerful it even killed his daughter.

narciso said...

part of this bombshell, which isn't on the company website,


https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/06/20/inenglish/1561014443_769230.html?rel=str_articulo#1563292619403

Big Mike said...

Not a surprise. Resisting arrest when you have a medical condition is even less wise than resisting arrest without one. Besides, Officer Pantaleo was responding to the directions of his sergeant, a black woman. Take down him and she comes with.

Big Mike said...

BTW, black lives don't really matter to BLM activists, or they would try to clean up black on black inner city violence.

Just sayin'

William said...

The people who thought OJ Simpson was innocent think that the police officer is guilty. Prejudice is not a uniquely and exclusively white phenomenon although you'd never know it from the media.

Yancey Ward said...

This is a decision that should have taken a week or two to reach- regardless of what that decision was. That it took 5 years is one of the most idiotic things I have seen this year.

I have seen pretty much all the evidence that exists for his arrest and death, and it always looked like a terrible accident- 99.99% of the people resisting arrest the way he did would not have died or even suffered life-threatening injuries- he just happened to be that extreme outlier.

And you can't blame this on Trump, either- the Obama Administration had 2 fucking years to bring the same charges, and didn't- and the reason likely is that they knew charges were inappropriate.

Char Char Binks said...

"This ends TODAY!" -- Eric "Fatty" Garner

0_0 said...

You cannot absolve individual police officers of racism if they are black, because it is then handed off to Institutional Racism.

Crazy Jane said...

At the time of Garner's death, the police had pretty well stopped enforcing marijuana laws. Who told them to make an effort to round up people selling loosies instead?

At the time of Garner's death, almost every shooting in the city was performed with an illegal gun imported from another state. True, it wasn't a tax issue, but it was frequently a life-and-death issue. Who in the police department said, we need to prioritize low-rent tax evasion over getting illegal guns off the streets?

Penn Neff said...

You used to be able to see the video on YouTube. It clearly showed that the officer applying the takedown hold did so at the direction of the sergeant in charge at the scene. The sergeant was a black woman. If asked by the grand jury where he learned the takedown hold the officer could have truthfully replied “the police academy.” An illegal chokehold involves applying direct pressure to the carotid artery to cut off blood flow to the brain. The video shows that is not what happened A civil rights case was unwinnable. Otherwise Barry and his wingman would have brought it. Lynch is not an idiot unlike the wingman. So she didn’t bring the case. They left it for the next admin to take the heat. Shrewd democratic racist politics. Unconscionable and unetthical conduct for a career line prosecutor. Timed up nicely now to help prove Trump is a racist.

Kevin said...

I question the timing.

prairie wind said...

John Henry...definitely not off topic. Thanks for the reminder. Does anyone know the amount of taxes Garner would have had to pay if he hadn't died?

Jupiter said...

Mike Sylwester said...

'I speculate that many Blacks figure -- some of them consciously and some of them subconsciously -- that they might be able to benefit from "excessive" actions by "racist" police officers.'

It is true that most Blacks are aware of how the Race Card is used, and many of them are not reluctant to play it when they find themselves in conflict with a White. But I think most, especially those in Garner's milieu, are also aware that the Race Card requires a particular audience, and they seldom ride in patrol cars. I doubt very much that Blacks like Garner intentionally resist arrest in hopes of striking it rich. In fact, it is pretty clear from the video that he just does not want to be arrested. It will fuck up his day. I have been in that situation myself, but I had sense enough to realize that you can't talk the police out of arresting you. Your choice is how, not whether, so put your wrists together and smile. Garner's brain didn't work as well as mine, nor his body, either, apparently.

PM said...

A needless death all the way around: Garner's resistance; police not releasing at 'I can't breathe.'

rcocean said...

Another death due to cigarettes. Coffin nails indeed.

rcocean said...

Its how this stuff has ALMOST gone away. It seemed during the O years, every year we would have the Annual RACIAL POLICE STORY that would be hyped by the MSM for months. I thing they're too busy attacking Trump 24/7 to care about this anymore.

bagoh20 said...

A severely out of shape man had a heart attack because he chose to overexert himself in the regular and expected course of his chosen work. Police touched him 15 minutes prior to the heart attack = racism.

Leigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leigh said...

@ Bruce Hayden and Mike Sylwester -- yes, the quid pro quo with NYPD appears to be complete: suppress the Clinton-damning contents on Weiner's computer and she'd insure the officers walked.

Don't also forget Lynch's bizarre video, which she put out shortly after Trump was elected. Essentially, she exhorted people to take to the streets if necessary. "They've marched" ... "they've bled. And yes, some of them have died." "It will be hard," she says in this weirder-than-bat-shit video, but "we can do this again." https://youtu.be/f0SFigmQK_k

What the hell? Looking back on it, she probably thought the "insurance plan" would be executed in short order, and she anticipated Trump supporters would physically fight when he was overthrown by the Clinton/Obama cabal of seditionists.

Fritz said...

Will the riot coincide with another blackout? Welcome back to the 19th century!

Hagar said...

The cops came because the shop owner, who sold cigarettes legitimately, called his alderman and demanded this guy selling onesies be removed from his store entrance, and the alderman called the police and told them to go get the guy or else.

Nichevo said...

We don't have Alderman in New York, Hager, otherwise that's about the sum of it.


PM said...
A needless death all the way around: Garner's resistance; police not releasing at 'I can't breathe.'

7/16/19, 2:00 PM

PM, this is by definition a lie. Take a CPR class. If you can't breathe, you can't speak. It would not have taken the morbidly obese Garner fifteen minutes to asphyxiate.