The Eric Garner grand-jury debacle hit me particularly hard for some reason. With so many of these things it’s so easy to just say “Oh, yet another injustice in this broken society of ours, what can you do.” But with this one…
There was no grey area, no reasonable doubt, no reliance on conflicting eyewitness testimony or he-said-she-said or easily misinterpreted forensics. It was all on video. Even if the cop really did not mean to kill Garner it was still textbook involuntary slaughter. A first-year law student could make a slam-dunk case out of it. But the Staten Island DA declined to prosecute anyway, hiding as with Ferguson behind a sham grand jury proceeding to cover his own decision.
Now imagine if a black man or — worse — a gang of black men slaughtered a white person this way. They’d lock them up and throw away the key. The defense lawyer wouldn’t even try to give them a decent defense.
And, Garner was assaulted by an entire squad of cops for the petty crime of evading paying sales taxes on his loosey cigarettes. Perhaps it was this angle — taxation — that finally, finally woke conservatives up to the fact that something is terribly wrong in the oversight of police misconduct. Or perhaps it was the incontrovertible video that even they could not overlook. Whatever the case, a large swatch of the Right agrees this was a grave injustice.
I’ve really been bothered by this. It happened in my oh-so-progressive town, and I really (naively) thought at least some sort of indictment would be handed down. Anything. But there was nothing. SI DA Dan Donovan slapped us all across the face and told us, “My cops are above the law, and f**k you if you don’t like it.”
I don’t care what your political leanings are, I don’t care what you thought about Ferguson, I don’t care what the color of your skin is, I don’t even care if you are an active-duty cop yourself. If you were not bothered by tonight’s “decision,” there is something terribly broken within you.