Recent events have been an opportunity for race hustlers.
Two weeks, two hearings, two grand juries, two potential crimes, two exonerations, anger, and violent mass protests.
The proximity of the exonerations of Officer Darren Wilson, and Officer Daniel Pantaleo have led many to make unnecessary, and invalid comparisons. The incidents which led to the grand jury hearings certainly had much in common, if one looks only to the superficial. Both cops are white, both suspects were black, both incidents resulted in death, both cops faced national scrutiny, and both were exonerated. The superficial similarities may lead one to come to the conclusion that because the cases appear similar, the exonerations are equally outrageous. This is not the case, but rather an erroneous conflation.
Why is this important? Why is it imperative to distinguish between the two cases? Additionally, why is it necessary to examine the cases comparatively? It is important because they are indeed different, and to make assumptions about one case because of its apparent similarity to another is not only foolish, but dangerous, considering the violent consequences of the Ferguson verdict. Additionally, there are those who are doing their level best to stoke the fire of racial tension to benefit their own agenda, and making linkages between these two cases will certainly help them.
So, let’s take a proper look at the known evidence, and legal speculations. On August 9th, 2014, officer Darren Wilson shot, and killed Michael Brown—an unarmed 18 year-old black man. Social media erupted with rampant speculations regarding the motive of Officer Wilson, and whether or not a crime had been committed. Almost immediately, a consensus coalesced, indicting officer Wilson; over night, the national mindset was set in stone. Wilson had used excessive force against Michael Brown because Brown was African American. There were calls for violence, and no one seemed to care about the fact that what they wanted to believe might not be true. They seemingly wanted any excuse to be angry.
However, over the course of the grand jury hearings, evidence began to leak that not only painted a negative picture of alleged “gentle giant” Michael Brown, but also seemed to point to officer Wilson acting appropriately, given the circumstances of the situation. A video emerged which showed Brown strong-arm robbing a convenience store just prior to his encounter with officer Wilson, and a majority of reliable witness testimony corroborated Wilson’s account in which Brown tried to grab the officer’s gun, and charged toward him just prior to his death. The nail in the coffin, however, was the forensic evidence, which showed that Brown was not running away from Wilson as many had alleged, because all shots fired entered his body from the front. In addition to the witness testimony, there was forensic evidence which corroborated Officer Wilson’s account that Brown had attempted to grab his gun during the altercation. In the end, the grand jury of 12 men, and women decided not to indict Wilson, given the extraordinary evidence. By all accounts, the grand jury process seemed on the level. Riots ensued regardless.
On July 17th, 2014, New York police approached Eric Garner, who was suspected of selling loose cigarettes in front of a Tompkinsville strip mall. After Garner denied having done anything wrong, officer Daniel Pantaleo attempted to handcuff him. Garner resisted, and Pantaleo proceeded to bring him to the ground with what appeared to be a choke hold. During the altercation, Garner yelled out eleven times that he could not breathe. This is widely known because video footage of the incident was captured by Garner’s friend.
Pantaleo denies having used a choke hold—which is banned by the New York police department—but rather a takedown he learned in the police academy, where pressure is applied to the arteries in the sides of the neck in order to render the suspect unconscious. The report from the medical examiner partially corroborates Pantaleo’s claim. Although the official report notes that the cause of death was “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police,” it also goes on to note that there was no damage to the windpipe, or neck bones. After an independent review of the autopsy by Dr. Michael Baden, it was confirmed that “…there [was] a hemorrhage in the neck indicative of a neck compression.” During a recent segment with Sean Hannity, Baden confirmed the presence hemorrhages, saying: “There’s 27 pages in the report. And the female (ph), she found that there were 10 hemorrhages on the inside of the neck, in the muscles of the neck, petechial hemorrhages in the eye, hemorrhage in the tongue. And those are all evidence of neck compression. You’re right, chokehold has many different meanings in all. What we’re concerned at autopsy is was there pressure on the neck.”
However, the story doesn’t end there. Eric Garner had severe health problems, including asthma, which likely contributed to his death. According to the medical examiner, Garner had “acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.” In the end, the alleged choke hold likely triggered Garner’s asthma, causing him to stop breathing. However, it is not conclusive that the choke hold was the sole cause of death. That is a critical detail, especially when deciding criminality, or negligence.
A grand jury of 23—of which only 12 are needed for exoneration—decided not to indict Daniel Pantaleo. According to defense attorney Mark O’Mara, the jury could not agree that Pantaleo “acted in a criminally negligent way.” This does not mean he was not partially responsible for the death of Eric Garner, but it does mean that the jury decided there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude probable cause. Riots have occurred regardless.
These incidents could not be more different. In the Ferguson case, the evidence very clearly indicates that Officer Wilson was not in the wrong, and that Michael Brown was the aggressor. He was not indicted. In the other case, a disturbing video, and the report by the medical examiner indicates that while officer Pantaleo may not have intended to cause Garner’s death, the method he used to subdue Garner was a significant contributing factor in his death. He was not indicted. One officer was not culpable, while the other—though likely unintentionally—contributed to the death of a suspect.
Now we get to the meat of the story. These exonerations look similar on the surface, but they could not have been more different. The one detail that links these two cases in the minds of the outraged public is that the officers were white, and the suspects were black. And this link is causing people to see a pattern that doesn’t exist. As of yet, there has been less than zero evidence to suggest that officers Wilson, and Pantaleo harbored any racial animosity toward the men they fatally wounded. Yet that, and that alone, is the basis for the outrage. The implication is that these white cops would never have shot, or used a fatal choke hold on a white suspect. But there are several problems with this idea. First, and foremost, as previously mentioned, there is no evidence to suggest that either officer was racist. Second, two cases do not make a pattern. Finally, there are numerous cases of white cops using excessive force on white suspects, with the end result being fatal. If any pattern does exist, it’s a pattern of broad excessive force, regardless of race. But even in the face of this possible pattern, the vast majority of police officers are good, law abiding men, and women, who do their best to protect, and serve while treating people with dignity, and fairness. Despite the obvious culpability of officer Pantaleo, his exoneration is not indicative of a broadly flawed grand jury system. The outcome of both cases may have been the same, but the juries were different, the evidence was different, and the level of culpability carried by each officer could not have been more different.
Inevitably, there will be those reading this that question my understanding of the world around me. So, allow me to set the record straight. I am not arguing that racism does not exist, I am not arguing that police brutality doesn’t exist, I am not arguing that excessive force could never be motivated by race, and I am not arguing that officer Pantaleo doesn’t bear some responsibility in the death of Eric Garner. I am arguing, however, that there is no indication that these two cases—in Ferguson, and in New York—had anything to do with race. Given that, the riots, and protests are based on a false premise, one that has been cultivated by race hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Barack Obama.
I’m fearful, and well aware that Sharpton and his ilk will use this exoneration to try to invalidate the Ferguson exoneration. Regardless of the vast differences between the two cases, they will do everything they can to manipulate the American people into believing that Pantaleo’s exoneration calls into question Darren Wilson’s.
President Obama even made a statement regarding the Garner case, saying: “This is an issue we’ve been dealing with for too long and it’s time for us to make more progress than we’ve made…We’re seeing too many incidences where people do not have confidence that folks are being treated fairly. When anybody in the country is not being treated equally under the law, it is my job as President to solve it.”
The president of the United States is making statements which imply that this incident had a racial component when there is absolutely no evidence to support such a notion. It’s irresponsible, and reckless for him to make such a statement, but he does it because he has an alternate agenda.
Obama and the Democrats need black people to feel constantly victimized, so that they can swoop in and “save” them. This way, they will always have a strangle hold on the black voting demographic. It’s a simple scheme with dire consequences.
Don’t be fooled. Don’t be manipulated. Delve into the evidence, and fight back against this insidious tactic being employed by those who would use racial tension to their advantage. It’s a sick ploy, and one that invalidates, and undermines every single real racial crime that takes place in America today. Their behavior is vile, and unworthy of the positions of leadership they hold.