Like many people, Spike Lee is wondering exactly what prompted the Staten Island grand jury to not indict New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the homicide of Eric Garner.
The filmmaker weighed in on the situation Wednesday night during an appearance on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” In his eyes, the hope for improved relations with police in America is not as bright.
“I keep hoping, but hope’s not working. It doesn’t look like hope has been a part of the grand jury in the last nine days in Ferguson and Staten Island,” Lee admitted to Cooper. “I have faith in [Attorney General] Eric Holder, and I think justice, in this case at least… because there’s evidence. There’s a 14-minute tape by Eric Garner’s friend, who spent a lot of that day with him. And I don’t know what the grand jury was looking at that they cannot bring a charge and the guy walks.”
Lee’s comments come after he created a mashup video earlier this year featuring the scene where Radio Raheem choked to death by police in his classic film “Do the Right Thing” and footage from Garner’s death at the hands from a chokehold administered by Pantaleo. The “Do the Right Thing” scene, which was inspired by the death of New York graffiti artist Michael Stewart in 1983, prompted Lee to draw parallels between art imitating life as well as motivated him in joining the protest for justice in the Garner case.
During his interview with Cooper, Lee shared his thoughts regarding a peaceful New York City protest he joined following the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Mo.
“It was diverse New Yorkers. Black, white, brown, Asian all chanting ‘black lives matter,’” he said. “And a lot of young people…You know, young people in this generation gets a bad rap. They’re the ones that are leading this. So watching you inspired me to get out there with these young women and men and be a part of this.”
(Photo Source: AP)