Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Eric Garner NYC Verdict, No indicment

New York  Court decided to play the safe route and also go for a No indicment decision in the death of Eric Garner in August.

Eric Garner, a 44 year old African American father in Staten Island, New York suffered from occasional bouts of asthma and was known by his neighbors  as a gentle and calm person. Like Michael Brown, Eric Garner was an imposing person, hefty and over 6 ft. Prior to his death in July this year, Garner had played a positive role in his neighbors and friends' lives helping out with whatever they needed and working to mediate potential conflicts between youths in the area. On July 17, NYPD officers confronted him about illegal vending in Garner's case selling cigarette singles just one cigarette tax free. The NYPD like Ferguson, LAPD, Oakland and other police departments has been known to use excessive force, over step their boundaries, racism and racial profiling towards non white youth, men and women going back decades. Two NY residents whose deaths rocked New York were Amadou Diallo shot 47 times by the NYPD in 1999 while 23 year old Amadou was reaching for his wallet to show his ID and 16 year old Kimani Gray shot dead on his grandmother's front porch by officers after being chased by them and accused of having a weapon when the teen clearly didn;t. Deaths in police custody or at the hands of the police are common in New York City. Many mothers who have lost their sons have called on the national government for intervention toward seeking justice for their children. Many police victims' humanity needs to be emphasize to show that they are people with faces and loving families.

 Se Vende en NYC the vending and financial capital of America

Now, very few people sell individual cigarettes in many large cities across the country. New York City in general is known world wide as the street vending capital of the U.S. The NY food trucks are legends in their own right and would be hard to imagine the city without hotdog, hamburger or carne asada venders in their trucks or carts going across Manhattan or Queens to serve hungry customers youth, tourists, police and even businesspeople alike. Alongside the vendors are many hawkers ie people selling everything from toys to jewelry on city streets and corners. Every world city has hawkers as well who are trying to provide for themselves or families instead of stealing or committing punishable crimes. For the most part street venders are left alone by the police. Hawkers are regarded as underground sellers or illegal sellers depending on the viewpoints of whose looking for them.

Video of Eric Garner being confronted by police

Eric Garner was accused of selling illegal cigarettes despite selling and not harm anyone else on the street corner in Staten Island. The officers automatically arrested him and placed in a choke hold after struggling to handcuff him as Garner argued he was doing nothing wrong and that he couldn't breathe. The choke hold arrest and death was captured on film and posted to youtube soon after. To the shock and horror of neighbors and the wider city, Garner was placed in an unnecessary chokehold by five police officers and the fact that he was asthmatic and asthma can be triggered by lack of air or stressful situations to didn't faze the officers involved. The officers have been investigated for their involvement since and with the Ferguson protests from August until now, NYC court has been hesitant to deliver a final verdict. Protests erupted on Staten Island and in the other four boroughs but not to the existent of  Ferguson following Michael Brown's death one month after. The connections between the two have been emphasized by many protesters and neighbors since.

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