No Indictment from Grand Jury in Eric Garner Case



I’m deeply disheartened (I literally gagged) that the grand jury found no cause to indict police officers that placed a choke hold on Eric Garner, which was determined his cause of death. Garner’s death was ruled a homicide. How could it not? It was the chokehold seen around the globe.

But it wasn’t enough for the jurors. I’m beginning to wonder what would be. How can lives (yes, LIVES) be so violently taken and the only outcome is a makeshift how to get away with murder fraternity among Zimmerman, Wilson, Oliver and Haste.

Yes, Mr. President, it is an American problem. A biggie that predates your existence and mine. The only thing that does change are the names. The faces and pleas for justice go unchanged.

If We Must Die (1919) by Claude McKay
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honourus through dead!
O kinsman! We must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

Color Chart (2013) by Guy Farmer

Spike Lee Shows Eric Garner Murder is Similar to Radio Raheem’s

Image Courtesy: Spike Lee Instagram

Image Courtesy: Spike Lee Instagram

I always say real life is stranger than fiction, but when certain scenarios are replicated it’s eerily emblematic of our society. And we’ve seen the police brutality theme–shoot, punch, strangle first and ask questions later–play out more through the smartphone lens than a movie camera.

This time Spike Lee captured how the two worlds collided. The famed filmmaker compared Radio Raheem, a gentle giant character murdered by police in his critically acclaimed “Do the Right Thing” film, to Eric Garner.

Eric Garner is on the minds and lips of many New Yorkers as the latest victim of police brutality. Not only for the cops overly excessive kneejerk reaction to selling loosies (illegal cigs) but their inability to get the asthmatic father and grandfather help when he needed it most.

This is where it gets fuzzy for me. Now that they got this man on the ground, now that he’s silent and stiff, wouldn’t you check his pulse? Not pick his pockets. If you’re wearing a badge that reads “protect and serve,” wouldn’t you utilize that training and perform CPR? Instead of slapping his non-responsive shoulder you CAN wave over the paramedics to revive him.

Or better yet listen when he says he can’t breathe.

I was hesitant to watch the disturbing video for obvious reasons, but when I finally got up the courage to view it. I instantly thought of my father. How he would break up fights between kids (something Eric was reportedly doing before the police approached him) from me and my sister’s school and talk some sense into them. How he’s a staple to the neighborhood like Eric was to his. And despite that he was still murdered right in front of the community’s eyes. No one helped.

Everyone watched him go silent. Now we have to be his voice.