In a matter of just over a week another grand jury has decided not to indict a police officer for the death of an unarmed black man.
This time it’s New York and the officer involved in the Eric Garner case where the 43-year old Staten Island man died last July after a confrontation with police that was caught on videotape.
“Put your hands behind your back. I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”
Garner could be heard saying “I can’t breathe” 11 times as police subdued him and placed him in a chokehold, a technique that has been banned by the NYPD.
Garner’s infraction, selling untaxed cigarettes.
After the announcement that Officer Daniel Pantaleo would not be charged outrage and protests broke out on the streets of New York with demonstrators chanting “I can’t breathe, Eric Garner, No justice, no peace.”
They and millions around the country are wondering what it takes for an officer to face a jury trial when their interactions with a suspects turn deadly.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is married to a black woman and has a black son who he mentioned during a press conference after the announcement is wondering the same thing.
“There’s a history we have to overcome because for so many of our young people there’s a fear. And for so many of our families there’s a fear. So I’ve had to worry over the years. Chirlane has had to worry is Dante safe every night. There are so many families in the city who feel that each and every night. Is my child safe?
Are the safe from neighborhood violence and from the people they want to have faith in – police officers?
But no one is more afraid today than Eric Garner’s family, his mother, his children and his widow who had this to say when asked if she accepts the officer offering condolences.
“Hell no. The time for remorse would have been when my husband was screaming to breath. That would have been the time for him to show some type of remorse or some type of care for another human being’s life, when he was screaming 11 times that he can’t breathe. “So there’s nothing that him or his prayers or anything else will make me feel any different. No, I don’t accept his apology. No, I can care less about his condolences. He’s still working, he’s still getting a paycheck, he’s still feeding his kids, and my husband is six feet under, and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now.”
And with that, I don’t need to say another word.