STATEN ISLAND, New York – I’ve been meaning to say something about this news story from New York’s Amsterdam News Service for the last several days but once again life happened and so it delayed me in brief.
I will get right to it. …
By now we all know the story of Mr. Eric Garner the Staten Island, NY., native who succumbed to an illegal choke hold maneuver placed on him by an NYPD undercover narcotics officer earlier this year. His violent and untimely death sparked outrage and sympathy for his family the free world over. Shortly there after the nation learned once again of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Township, MO. (an unarmed African-American teenager, 18, walking to see his grandmother in early August of this year…) and then after that the deaths of Renesha McBride, Detroit, Mich., Dillon Taylor, South Salt Lake City, UT., Tayler Rock, Arkansas City, KS. and many more…
All were in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. All were violent and untimely deaths. But such would, once again, bring us to the table of the brotherhood of man to talk shop about the killing, stealing and destroying of our nation’s youth, elderly and the disabled as well as the poor.
What does this say about us as a society? Where do we go from here? These were just some of the many questions that we have been asking of ourselves and each other as we have national and international conversations about such actions.
Enter: “Queens Democratic City Councilman Rory Lancman… …introduce a package of bills, that aims to criminalize the use of chokehold by NYPD officers and provide guidelines on how the tactic can only be used. …” - City Council bill to make chokehold illegal | New York Amsterdam News: The new Black view.
However, there’s a catch, a hitch in the giddy up as we say down South. NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton is having none of it according to the REPORT from AmNews …
“I won’t support It .. I feel that department policies are sufficient, that if lawmakers want to try to make that against the law, well, good luck, but I will not support it.”
Anyone with a pulse is familiar with the methods and madness of William Bratton from L.A. to New York City and back again. Time and memorial Bill Bratton has stood in the way of progress, and a civilized 21st century society. Why? Answer: There is profitability in death. Especially in the death of the elderly, disabled, youth and poorest amongst us, ‘the least of these’. And Bill Bratton’s ‘protect and serve’ past is littered with the skulls and bones of these. Eric Garner is but one, a microcosm of a macrocosm, in the life and times of William R. Bratton, Police Chief/Commissioner Extraordinaire.
IF the mountain will not come to Mohammed then Mohammed should go to the mountain. William Bratton and New York’s finest, that ‘thin blue line’ need to be taught invaluable lessons.
Lessons that we thought that they had learned, most certainly their comrades in arms in the NY City Fire Department did on 9/11, of the milk of human kindness. That quality of mercy. That mission of mercy. Search and rescue. Recover. Renewal. Restoration. Why didn’t they embrace them? Why did they instead and elect to go back to their evil and self-serving ways, that ‘us verses them’ mentality? Are we not, after all, our brother’s keeper?
Were they not suppose to be Mr. Garner’s keeper on that hot summer day here in 2014?
‘Mistakes were made.’ Is no longer an acceptable or tolerable answer for us who advocate on behalf of Eric Garner and his family. We will not go quietly into that Staten Island New York Night!
Eric Garner deserved far better treatment than that of what he received at the hands of the NYPD on that tragic day. Deserved far more respect and compassion than what he got from the Fire & Rescue Squad Team. And his family, well, they deserve and have well-earned the right to know. The right to accountability. Transparency. Openness. Honesty and forthrightness. IF the New York City Council has any compunction. Any compassion. Any quality of mercy that is not strained but dropeth as that gentle rain from heaven they will, THEY WILL, pass Councilman Lacman’s bills on banning the choke hold entirely.
They will begin to answer our questions in so doing and begin the process, I hope and pray, of showing William Bratton his way out the door, permanently. We shall see what comes of it all.
In the mean time let us continue to pray for the Family of Eric Garner and so many other Eric Garner’s across the country and around the world who, through no fault of their own, have died needless and violent deaths at the hands of police.