Monday, August 4, 2014

Watching the Watchers


Let me say right up front that I have not really been following the Eric Garner situation too closely.  I mean, I know the basics:  a man died when the NYPD used an illegal chokehold on him, the entire incident was caught on tape, and the death has subsequently been ruled a homicide.  But I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion on whether the death was caused by a tragic set of circumstances or a blatant abuse of power.  Sadly, I’m becoming cynical enough to think that the latter is probably more likely. 

Honestly, I don’t want to be that cynical.  I’d much rather believe that even if the officer involved used illegal methods of restraint, he did it in a moment of panic for his own safety, or because Mr. Garner was putting up superhuman efforts at resistance, something to make it not really the officer’s fault, though that seems unlikely.

Then, today I hear that the man who filmed the altercation has been arrested  for an unrelated gun charge.  Hmm.  Like I said, I’d much rather be confident that everything is on the up and up, but that kind of certainty seems to be a thing of the past.   It will be interesting to see what comes of all of this.