In the early afternoon hours of August 9th, 2014, in Ferguson Missouri, Officer Darren Wilson observed two black males, Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson, walking down the middle of the street. According to Johnson's testimony, Wilson told the two to "get the fuck on the sidewalk" and Johnson replied that they were almost to their destination. Wilson backed his vehicle up and tried to open his door, but Brown shut it, preventing him from getting out. Wilson then reached out and grabbed Brown by the neck, the two struggled and a shot was fired. Brown and Johnson ran and Wilson fired as they ran away. Brown, having been shot, turned towards Wilson with his hands up, saying "I don't have a gun" and Wilson fired several more shots, fatally wounding Michael Brown. In the next hour, police assembled, on the scene, 20 units from eight different municipalities, four canine units and a SWAT team, civil unrest ensued and for the next several nights, the police gassed threatened and tormented the protesters.
On July 17, 2014, at 4:45 p.m., Eric Garner was approached by plainclothes police officer, Justin Damico, in front of a beauty supply store in Staten Island, on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Mr Garner refused to cooperate with the officer and in the ensuing altercation, Eric Garner was taken to the ground in an apparent choke hold, while repeatedly saying "I can't breathe".
On August 9, 1997, Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, was involved in a confrontation outside of Club Rendez-Vous. In the course of the incident, Officer Justin Volpe was struck by a "sucker-punch" and believed Louima to be the assailant. Volpe arrested Louima on charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing government administration, and resisting arrest. In what can only be described as a bizarre turn of events, Louima was beaten, strip searched, taken into the bathroom and sodomized with a toilet plunger.
While the first two incidents listed are at present frequent topics of discussion, you may ask why I bothered to mention the latter case. The inconvenient truth is, the Loiuma case was the most recent notorious case of police brutality in which the perpetrators were brought to justice. Why? Because Officer Volpe's actions were of such a horrid and heinous nature, that anyone reading or hearing the story had to agree, this act was at the very least, a gross miscarriage of justice. True this was 17 years ago, long before in the aftermath of 9/11 everyday Americans decided Law Enforcement Officials, in the interest of keeping America safe from impending danger, should be above and exempt from those very Laws they were sworn to enforce. I'm sure that had this happened in today's political atmosphere, the sociopaths at Fox News would find some convoluted reason to support officer Volpe and Blame it all on Obama. I'm sure that had this happened in today's political atmosphere, Rudy Guliani, who at the time said...
"These allegations are shocking. The alleged conduct involved is reprehensible done by anyone at any time. Allegedly done by police officers, it's even more reprehensible"
... would no doubt now find some way to dismiss the incident as a response to Black on Black crime.
The polarizing repartee that has sadly become today's acceptable discourse has made it easy for the noise machine to dilute the facts and blame the victims and ultimately, let the likes of Darren Wilson and Justin Damico escape justice. Yes, Michael Brown was walking in the middle of the street, disrupting traffic, when first approached by Officer Wilson, but not even in Tombstone Arizona, of the wild, wild, west, was the penalty for walking in the middle of the street, being shot dead in the street. Even if, by Officer Wilson's account, Michael Brown was reaching for the gun, that eventuality was resolved when Officer Wilson, as the forensic evidence suggests, fired two shots while still inside the car, and by Dorian Johnson's account, the youths took flight. It further seems to reason that if Michael Brown was indeed reaching for Officer Wilson's gun, Michael Brown did not have a gun of his own, so once Michael Brown fled, Officer Wilson was necessarily no longer justifiably in fear for his life.
Eric Garner was most likely known to police, since he had been arrested some 30 times over the past 34 years including multiple arrests for selling loose cigarettes. Criminal Sale of Untaxed Cigarettes (NY State Tax Law § 1814) can be a Class D or E felony or an A misdemeanor, depending largely on the quantity of cigarettes at issue. Eric Garner resisted arrest both verbally and physically, before officers took him down. While it's true that if you can say "I can't breathe" in fact you can breathe, because you have to expel air to speak, it is also evident, that if a man says "I can't breathe" he is indeed indicating, his breathing is distressed. "I can't breath" would also seem to say, "I give up... I'm not going to fight you anymore"; he was in essence saying "Uncle." It further follows, that if you wrestle a 350 pound man to the ground, once you have secured him, particularly since he indicated his breathing was distressed, your first course of business should be to get him proper medical attention. In my humble opinion, the officers involved in the Eric Garner suicide are at the very least guilty of reckless disregard for human life and depraved indifference.
The District Attorneys in both the Brown and Garner cases decided to present the evidence to respective Grand Juries. The common adage is that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich. Why then would both of these Grand Juries fail to return indictments? The answer is, a Grand Jury is a tool of the Prosecutor; they do, in the great majority of instances, exactly what the prosecutor wants. It would therefore follow, that since neither jury returned an indictment, each respective prosecutor received precisely the result he desired.
What has born true in Ferguson, and to a lesser degree in New York, is the police, sworn to Protect and Serve, have shown a general disdain for the neighborhood they serve. In response, the neighborhood feels not protected by, but persecuted by those appointed to be their protectors. The result is, at best chaos and the beginning of anarchy.
Riot is the language of the unheard.