Why wasn't the police officer who killed Eric Garner indicted?

I don’t know enough about the case to have an informed opinion, but at first glance this looks strange. The officer was stripped of gun and badge (which I assume is synonymous with being fired?) for what he did, which tells me that whatever he did it was not allowed by police policy. That would seem, I would have thought, to obviate any defense of the actions proceeding from the fact that he was ostensibly acting as an officer of the law. So, he did things he wasn’t supposed to do, and in doing so, caused the death of a person. Why was this not something he should have been charged for?

Pretty garbled summary that IMHO is going to lead only to a lot of arm-waving and shouting.

The WP page seems to be reasonably neutral and accurate and might be a better starting point for discussion.

Being stripped of badge and gun is simply an automatic, temporary procedure: whether they get returned or if officer gets fired depend on the results on the investigation.

Because the Grand Jury system for addresses police wrongdoing is ineffective. With the prosecutors and the defendants having a professional working relationship, how could it ever be impartial? Would the prosecutor allow a juror that professionally was connected to the defendant stay on a case? Never.

To be clear: I did not intend what I wrote to be a summary. I explicitly indicated that it was an incomplete account.

Ah I misunderstood that. Still, the chokehold itself was illegal wasn’t it? (Or anyway, disallowed by police procedure?)

Violating department policy is not synonymous with violating the law. On initial look I still find it surprising that this didn’t make at least the grand jury standard of proof for something like negligent homicide/manslaughter but I haven’t paid much attention to New York law or the details of the case as presented.

In NY the prosecutor cannot reveal the proceedings without a court order, so we have no idea of what the prosecutor chose to present and how vigorously. Hopefully the DOJ investigation will be more fruitful.

Seems this is drawing ire from both sides of the aisle.

Ok it’s a Huff Post piece quoting a couple of conservative blogs so it’s hard to tell how much meat there is…without watching Fox News for 3 days straight. Still I loved this quote:

Sadly the national conversation got diverted to a case that turned out to have more smoke than fire instead of this case.

Eric Garner died because he was too fat and asthmatic to be struggling with the police in the way he did. The cops tried talking with him and arresting him peacefully, but that’s not what he wanted to happen. The cops wrestled him to the ground, and yes, the one cop did not use proper technique (although it’s not clear how much of that was choke hold vs wrestling him to the ground). But it’s not clear how much that contributed. Garner was talking after the hold was released and subsequently died. I suspect the focus on the hold is because it is banned by the NYPD.

We can talk about whether or not selling loosies should be illegal. But the cops don’t make that call. They enforce the laws and Mr. Garner was clearly breaking the law. There wasn’t excessive force here. Just improper technique and possibly some issue with monitoring/treating Mr. Garner after he had been cuffed. It’s not clear to me what happened after he was subdued.

Adams was pretty adamant that force could be used to enforce democratically enacted laws. His issue was with kings, not government.

The technique is improper and prohibited because it is excessive.

In America, cops are very rarely punished when they commit crimes. If you are a cop and you want to get indicted for murdering a civilan, you have to do something like getting videotaped stabbing a nun to death while she prays in church. No guarantees there … I’m sure someone will say she could have been hiding an assault weapon under her robes so he was in reasonable fear of his life.

She was going to strangle me with her rosary beads!!

“The nun was seen reaching for her waist.”

They do that all the time, force of habit.

Typical of these liberal boards, sixteen posts and not even one mention of black-on-black crime.

OMFG, it really is never ever the cop’s fault or responsibility with some people, is it?

For the benefit of non-Americans, a “loosie” is not a bag of heroin or anything like that. It is a single tobacco cigarette sold for a tiny amount of change.

Yes, that’s right. Mr. Garner was arrested (and in the process killed) for selling tiny amounts of tobacco to poor people. In a city where billion-dollar fraudsters drive their Maseratis, immune from prosecution.

He was breaking the law. Does the fact that some crimes go unpunished mean we shouldn’t bother enforcing any of them?