Sunday, January 17, 2016

234.7 - Outrage of the Week: protecting cops in the Eric Garner killing

Outrage of the Week: protecting cops in the Eric Garner killing

In July 2014, an unarmed black man named Eric Garner was killed by New York City police who swarmed him, escalating a minor confrontation over a claim he was illegally selling loose cigarettes into a multi-person assault with cop Daniel Pantaleo grabbing Garner in a chokehold - something specifically banned by NYPD policy. The cops ignored Garner's pleas that he couldn't breathe as, in effect, Pantaleo choked him to death.

This was all in front of numerous witnesses and was all caught on video. Unlike the case of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, there was no ambiguity here, no conflicting testimony. It made no difference. When no charges were issued against Pantaleo, even people like Bill O'Reilley and Charles Krauthammer were shocked. The city settled a wrongful death suit filed by Farner's family for $5.9 million.

But now, 18 months later, the NYPD has found someone to blame. Her name is Kizzy Adonis, she is - or perhaps soon was - a sergeant in the NYPD, and was one of two supervising officers at the scene of Garner's killing. Now, she has been stripped of her gun and badge and is facing four departmental charges of "failure to supervise."

Sgt. Adonis wasn't even assigned on patrol at the time. She heard the call on her radio and responded to the scene. One witness says he heard her say to the other cops, "Let up, you got him already." She then went to a nearby ambulance to make a call for additional assistance. So apparently she is facing charges for not trying hard enough to stop the other cops or for calling for medical assistance or both, it's not clear.

Kizzy Adonis
What is clear is that the other supervising sergeant on the scene, the one actually assigned to the unit, has not been charged, nor have any of the cops who attacked Garner been charged. The deadline for filing such departmental charges expires on January 17 so lacking some last-minute developments, she will be the only one charged.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that Kizzy Adonis is black?

It's eighteen months after Eric Garner was killed by cops using a chokehold banned specifically because of the risk of killing someone in a case that stunned even the right wing, and the only person the NYPD has found at fault is a black woman who didn't even have to be there.

The question of police brutality and racism and the departmental corruption that promotes it and protects it is no longer recognizing the brutality and racism and corruption themselves because they have become undeniable to anyone not completely blinded by their ideology. The question is what are we going to do about it.

Because the little - the nothing - we have done is an outrage.

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