The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Another Grand Jury Lets a Killer Cop Skate

Dec 8, 2014

A grand jury refused to indict New York cop Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold killing of Eric Garner.

To any rational person, it’s completely outrageous. This should have been an open-and-shut case of murder. It took place in broad daylight, with many eyewitnesses at the scene, and was caught in full on a video that has been seen by millions via TV and the internet.

As can be seen from the video, two NYPD cops prepared to arrest Garner after a fight took place. He told them, and others confirmed, that he only helped break up the fight. Still, they told him he was going to be arrested for selling untaxed individual cigarettes, otherwise known as “loosies.” He complained that he had done nothing and that they harass him every time they see him. He actually had the nerve to tell them enough was enough and that it had to stop.

Shortly thereafter police reinforcements arrived to help the cops take Garner down. Pantaleo, in the presence of at least ten other cops, put Garner in a chokehold, took him to ground, and pushed his face into the sidewalk. During all of this, Garner repeatedly told them “I can’t breathe,” yet even after they had him in cuffs, face down on the ground, they continued to sit on him until he stopped breathing.

For more than seven minutes, not one of the cops attempted to resuscitate Garner, despite numerous pleas by onlookers for them to do so. Even the EMTs that arrived on the scene did nothing to revive him for at least four minutes. By that time, Garner was dead.

Not only should Pantaleo be charged with murder, but all the other cops who were at the scene and did nothing to stop it should be charged as accomplices!

A spokesman for the NYPD actually had the nerve to say that Garner did not die of the chokehold, inferring that he died because he had asthma and heart problems! What a joke!

Unfortunately, none of this is unusual. Across the country, just as in the Garner case, many police forces act like street gangs whose uniforms and badges give them free rein to harass, arrest, imprison, and even kill working class and poor people–especially the black population.

Eric Garner’s murder, videotaped for all to see, provides an abject lesson that cops are there only to “protect and serve” the wealthy class and to enforce their class rule over the rest of the population.