Cop who killed Eric Garner over taxes just got a pass

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

For the second time in as many weeks, America has learned there are apparently two tiers to our justice system.

One for police officers who appear to have committed crimes in the performance of their duty. Another for the rest of us.

It shouldn’t be particularly surprising a New York City police officer wasn’t indicted by a grand jury after his chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner, a black man. Just like it shouldn’t be surprising a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., less than two weeks ago.

Prosecutors and cops work hand-in-hand to put away the bad guys. I’ve never watched a full episode of “Law and Order,” but all you have to do is watch the opening montage to know that much.

So when a police officer goes above-and-beyond the call of duty by doing something most of the rest of the world would acknowledge as criminal behavior, it shouldn’t surprise anyone the other half of the “law and order” family is willing to forgive and forget.

It shouldn’t be surprising. But it should make you mad.

In Ferguson, there was a confusing mixture of stories about what happened between Wilson and Michael Brown, the young black man who was killed in the street by bullets fired from Wilson’s gun.

Although Wilson’s story appears to be full of holes, he’ll never face cross-examination in an open courtroom because he wasn’t indicted. But, to be fair, witnesses of the tragic events in Ferguson had mixed stories too — and it’s within the realm of possibility to believe the grand jury did the right thing by letting Wilson off the hook.

In New York, things are much more cut and dried.

Thanks to video of the incident, and multiple media accounts, the facts in the case are hardly in dispute.

Garner was allegedly selling cigarettes on the street corner without a permit and without collecting sales tax on behalf of the city and state.

Garner was confronted by police about the alleged illegal cigarettes.

An altercation broke out, during which the officer used a chokehold to subdue Garner, who began telling the officers he couldn’t breathe.

Watch, if you can:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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