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A Staten Island grand jury voted not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner. In August, Ofc. Daniel Pantaleo attempted to arrest Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes, employing a chokehold which led to the man’s death.
Since Pantaleo is white and Garner black, the case is often compared to the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo. That has only intensified since the decision not to bring criminal charges was made public earlier today.
In a brief statement, President Obama tied the case to Ferguson and the “concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way.” Obama said he had already asked Eric Holder to look into the situation. Unfortunately, Al Sharpton said that he too talked to Holder. Great.
Despite being in charge of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio inveighed against the decision and repeatedly called for public protest. “Anyone who believes in the values of this country should feel called to action right now,” he said. “We are dealing with centuries of racism that has brought us to this day. That is how fundamental the crisis is.” Watching hundreds gather in Times Square, it appears New Yorkers are following the mayor’s advice.
Although I didn’t sift through grand jury testimony, Garner’s death seems much more worthy of an indictment than Mike Brown’s. The decision has surprised many people across both government and the media. But I find it odd that the New York’s Mayor is demanding that the public protest against the NYPD, an organization that he ostensibly runs. The Mayor seems to be protesting himself.
This is a continuing problem we see with many elected leftists. The romantic view of the protestor speaking Truth to Power maintains a steel grip on the progressive imagination. It is hard for De Blasio, Holder and Obama to shed the language and tactics of protest even though they run the establishment, top to bottom. Not only does the Left run the federal, state and local governments of New York, they run the media, the academy, the world of entertainment, and much of big business.
When a CEO is disappointed with his company’s performance in Q3, he changes policy and personnel to improve in Q4. He doesn’t carry a sign through the parking lot shouting “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Joe in Accounting’s Got to Go!” He just makes the changes; that’s his job.
If De Blasio wants to change the culture or procedures of the NYPD, meet with the police chief and get it done. You can’t keep fighting The Man when The Man is you.