After a video surfaced last week of a group of policeman tackling and choking a New York City man, which ultimately led to his death, all eyes turned the the story and asked why. One right-wing commentator has given his own reasoning.
Last Friday, New York police stopped 43-year-old Eric Garner, an African-American man, for allegedly selling loose un-taxed cigarettes. Garner has insisted that he was only breaking up a fight. When the police go to close, Garner told them to back off. The police tackled Garner to the group, while one of them put Garner in a rear naked choke hold. After repeated cries that he could not breathe, Garner took his last breathe and was killed. NYPD has suspended the officers and required additional training.
Sean Hannity: Six dollar a pack tax on cigarettes in New York state and NYC, so now they've created a black market to sell cigarettes. Then the cops have to do their jobs and waste time from drug dealers and rapists and murderers and arrest cigarette dealers and this guy kinda resisted arrest. The guy put him in a choke hold and now maybe one of these cops is going to jail.
Tamara Holder: He should go to jail.
Hannity: For what?
Holder: He committed a murder. He murdered an innocent man.
According to Slate, the officer who used the choke hold that killed Garner has had a history of complaints and has been sued twice over the last two years.
"Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who used a chokehold on Staten Island resident Eric Garner shortly before his death, has been sued twice within the past two years for alleged civil rights violations."
One of the lawsuits claimed that Pantaelo and his partner "allegedly handcuffed Collins and Rice before pulling down their pants and underwear and searching their genital areas." The case was settled out of court.
Whether you agree with New York's taxes or not, to blame them for the death a man who was doing, at worst, selling black market cigarettes, is not logical. If the police involved in the actions that led to Garner's death only get off with a suspension and additional training, they can consider themselves very lucky.