According to the New York Daily News, NYPD officers have killed at least 179 people over the past 15 years. Of those 179 incidents, only three led to an officer indictment, and only one led to a conviction. For that one conviction, the officer served no jail time.
The funeral was held in New York City for Eric Garner, an African-American father of six who died after police placed him in a chokehold. Police say they confronted Garner because he was selling bootleg cigarettes. Graphic video of the incident shows an officer pulling Garner to the ground by the neck and then holding his head against the pavement. As other officers crowd on top of Garner, he repeatedly says, “I can’t breathe.” Garner soon stops moving. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. On Wednesday, Bishop Kareem Evans addressed mourners at Brooklyn’s Bethel Baptist Church.
“This is an awesome task because Brother Eric is not only a friend, but he is family. Not only is he family, but he is one that you consider close family.”
The officer who used the chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo, has been moved to desk duty and ordered to turn in his badge and gun pending investigations. Three men have sued Pantaleo in the past two years for unlawful, racially motivated arrests. The New York City Police Department says it also plans to overhaul training procedures in the wake of Garner’s death. Four emergency response workers who were at the scene have been suspended without pay.
See the video of Eric Garner and NYPD here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-5UY9I1EbU
And more Democracy headlines at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS9A_WI3OT4&list=PL50BDB9BCCFAF09CA
The New York City Police Department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” program was a major issue for voters going to the polls in the city’s mayoral election. The issue drew widespread attention in August when U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin found stop-and-frisk unconstitutional, saying police had relied on a “policy of indirect racial profiling” that led officers to routinely stop “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” While she did not halt use of the tactic, Scheindlin appointed a federal court monitor to oversee a series of reforms. In a dramatic development last week, those reforms were put on hold. On Thursday, an appeals court stayed the changes, effectively allowing police officers to continue using stop-and-frisk. We get reaction from a police officer who has spoken out about problems with the program he and thousands of others are asked to carry out. Adhyl Polanco became critical of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy when his superiors told officers to meet a quota of stops, or face punishment. Polanco made audio recordings of the quotas being described during meetings in his precinct and brought his concerns to authorities, but he said he was ignored. He then took his audio tapes to the media, including The Village Voice, where reporter Graham Rayman wrote a series called “The NYPD Tapes,” featuring several police officers like him. For several years, Polanco was suspended with pay. He has returned to work on the police force, where he has been put on modified assignment. “You cannot treat the whole black and Latino community as if they are all about to commit a crime,” Polanco says. “I’ll handcuff anybody who’s committing a crime. But when you take a male black [and say]: ‘Cuff him, he doesn’t look like he belongs here.’ Cuff him for what?”
This is a seed of the new jim crow. There is still a fight for black & brown equal rights. The justice system needs a new face and progressive thinkers who will know not color, but just law for all.