The Opinion: More Protests after Grand Jury Decision Not to Indict Pantaleo

You can read the facts of my article at Here is The Opinion:

Protestors in New York after Grand Jury decides not to indict Officer Pentaleo in the death of Eric Garner.
Protestors in New York after Grand Jury decides not to indict Officer Pentaleo in the death of Eric Garner.

First things first, the real victims here are the families and loved ones of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. While they will not agree with my opinion, my deep condolences go out to them and I feel genuine sorrow for the grief they are experiencing due to their loss.

That being said, is every incident involving a black man racially motivated? Is it possible that sometimes bad things just happen when you do bad things? Is it possible that what happened to Michael Brown and Eric Garner still would have happened even if their skin was white? These are the questions I struggle with because I do not see any racially motivated aggression in either of these unfortunate deaths.

In the case of Michael Brown, which I have already written extensively on, you know my opinion. Brown did a bad thing and so bad things followed. Even if Officer Wilson did overreact to his assault by Brown, no human being, especially a police officer, should be held accountable for defending themselves and perhaps, in a moment of fear and rage, even going a bit overboard. I am not saying Officer Wilson went overboard; I’m just saying that even if you think he did, if you really put yourself in his shoes, you can see how his reaction was, not only, not a crime, but also expected.

The case of Eric Garner is different because Garner’s crime was non-violent. In resisting the officers who confronted him, however, he put himself into a dangerous field of view from the officer’s standpoint. A non-violent arrest can turn violent very quickly and an officer’s life can be taken just as quickly if they are not ready for the worse possible outcome. Forced to react once Garner resisted, officers treated Garner as potentially violent and capable of causing great harm, a necessary precaution in today’s violent world.

Police use of force is a complex topic, and complete studies are devoted to the topic every day in colleges, universities, and police academies across the country. Extensive research studies are conducted by the dozens, and hundreds of criminal experts have put in their two cents in formal theoretical analyses, but at the end of the day, the correct amount of force required in any given situation is not quantifiable beforehand.

Police agencies definitely try to quantify it and give police officers guidelines to use, but in the end police use of force will always fall into a class of quick judgment based on the officer’s instinct as to the danger involved in his current situation.

Perhaps sometime soon I will put down my complete thoughts on police use of force, but now is not the time. While these stories are certainly stages upon which to discuss police use of force, my purpose here is only to find out if the color of the victim’s skin was the reason for the particular use of force in these two cases.

Without proof that any of the officer’s involved are racist, it is hard for me to imagine these incidents as being racially motivated, and yet thousands, perhaps millions, across the country would disagree with me. They are protesting these two deaths because of the color of the victim’s skin. I truly believe that if the victims had been white, police use of force would not be center stage now in the media, and it would not be what you and others are talking about around the water cooler at work.

So the question then really, is, why? Why do millions of black and white Americans believe that police officers are racist and racially profiling innocent black Americans? Are there racist police officers? Of course. The same way there are racist doctors, racist firemen, racist politicians, and anything else you can think of. We can hardly believe that the majority of police officers, however, are racist.

Let’s not forget that racism goes both ways as well. When people think racism, they think “anti-black”, but racism can also be anti-white behavior by blacks as well. This occurs ever more often in our everyday lives and yet for some reason, a spotlight is not brandished on this behavior; racism seems to only be confronted and “news-worthy” when it is “anti-black.”

As I have researched the Ferguson incident and the above story about Garner, I have spent hours reading the comments that readers leave beneath the various stories. While I see many genuine comments of concern and sympathy, many comments are disturbing. Disturbing on many levels, in fact. It is amazing what truths are unveiled when humans speak anonymously on the internet.

There is a very large sentiment among both white and black Americans that they are sick and tired of hearing every situation involving a black person being turned into a racist issue. Many speak with anger that can be heard through their words, as you will see below in a moment. What is disturbing, however, is that there is a large number of black Americans making extremely racist and anti-white comments that seem to promote the racism that they claim to want to eradicate.

Here is a very small (believe it or not) example of some of the comments I have read posted on just one YouTube page:

“Resisting/fighting with armed men (that’s what cops are after all) on the street is just idiotic. Idiocy is rewarded with tragedy.”

“I am white as snow and I hate that this is going to allow the leftist demagogues push their lies. Race is not an issue here, I believe. There was, after all, a black female sergeant on the scene when it happened.”

“Let the race wars begin”

“I’m black, but I never give anyone a reason to treat me this way. All you have to do is be fucking smart about the way you act around others, because whether this cop is white, black, blue, yellow or fucking pink, he has authority and is paid to enforce the law. Don’t give him a damn reason to pin you down. Just follow his orders and be respectful.”

“This seems more like a tragic accident than a murder.  A man in bad health.  How were the police supposed to know?  Is there a better way to deal with someone resisting arrest?”

“Ummmm, you don’t get to break the law and then tell the police to just “leave you alone”. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, his crime was non-violent & fairly minor, but it was a crime just the same (which he had committed at least once before, prior to this incident). The police have every right to investigate a crime and pursue criminals. At some point, hood-rats must learn that their lives will greatly improve if they 1. Stop breaking the damn law  2. Don’t give the police a ration of shit when questioned about the CRIMES THEY HAVE COMMITTED..”

“In case you missed it: NO SLACK FOR THE BLACK! #EricGarner #ICantBreathe

“This guy had been arrested 31 times since he was 16 years old.  He was a career criminal with arrests related to aggravated assault and resisting arrest by using force, which means he liked to fight the police. The officers involved in this video had dealings with Garner previously numerous times and almost every time, he resisted arrest. Garner’s weight, poor health and resistance to arrest killed him.”

“How many people die from getting choked? It’s not a maneuver meant to kill someone. His asthma attack was coming on well before he was subdued. He pulled away from Police and got taken to the ground in a tactic taught to Police officers. The Cops don’t know if he is armed or not. Is it sad that he lost his life? Yes. The outcome would have been totally different, all he had to do was comply. The officers did no wrong. Bring on your racist comments.”

“All these black people do is claim that its police brutality but In reality as soon as you learn how to not commit crime and behave yourselves the police wont bother you. Its not about racism anymore people. Its about people looking to punish the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect the community FUCK THESE WHITE CRACKER PIGS!!!! CONDONING THIS KILLING!!!”

“When you aggressively yell at police officers stuff like “I’m tired of it, this stops today” while flailing your arms at them, nothing good will come out of it.  Do not take an aggressive stance vs cops.  Especially if you’re a large man with a previous record.  I would bet that there are other police officers who have lost their lives in similar situations because they didn’t force the issue and take the suspect down first.  If you are tired of the police harassing you, then go file a complaint with the appropriate agency.  This was not the right way to handle the situation.  And a man sadly lost his life because of it.” 

“I think if the black community would quit glamorizing “thug life” much less of these situations would occur.” 

“Why the fuck do thwy always make a big fuz when its a black man? Not to be racist but if we are to all be truly equal then why is it always a big deal when its an African american? Do keep in mind its better to be safe than sorry. A lot more Latinos/chinese get killed and all and its a daily thing that gets tooken for granted and in a worst way than that”

Speaking of justice, I did not bother to [sic] any of the above quotes as the number would have been unjust for the reader to sort through. Based on the above comments, we should not only be fearful of racism in this country, but of our educational system as well.

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