Thursday, December 4, 2014

JUSTICE??



Once again in the Eric Gardner case a grand jury has decided not to indict a policeman for manslaughter or homicide.

Once again there will be a cry that there was no justice.

What is “Justice’? Is it an eye for an eye? Is it punishment for an act 
against another individual? Does there have to be lack of justification for the harmful action to merit “justice”?

There can be no simple definition of Justice according to the article in Wikipedia.

However it is important to differentiate between the incident and the results of the legal system. Are Blacks more likely to be police victims than white or Hispanics? Are Juries more likely to convict a black male than a white man?

The answer to the first question is YES. The answer to the second one is “perhaps”. Each should be treated as a separate subject.

I still intend to post in detail on the arrest issues; however the jury verdicts of “not guilty” or “no cause for a criminal charge” in three recent highlighted cases merits some preliminary discussion.

I will first note that I believe the jury was wrong in the Trayvon Martin case if for no other reason than Zimmerman was acting as a vigilant out for a confrontation. Unfortunately Zimmerman was protected by the law; Florida's Stand Your Ground statute.

The Michael Brown case will need a non-passionate review of all the evidence presented to the Grand Jury. That body seemed to agree that the victim was being aggressive and that blood was found 20 feet beyond where he was fatally shot would suggest that he was “coming at the policeman”.

Yes Brown was unarmed; but was he rational or under the “influence”? Until we see all that was presented   we will not know.

Nor will we know that the prosecutor in not seeking a cause for criminal trial present so much evidence that the Jury was confused? Should we feel that Justice would be accomplished is that body only received testimony that would cause an indict man? That would be a perversion of the system and illegal.

As to the Gardner decision; There is sufficient doubt that it was a combination of his poor medical status aggravated by the stress of resistance that resulted in his death; not a “choke hold”

A choke hold compresses the windpipe essential for breathing. If the person can’t breathe he can’t talk. Speech is dependent on the passing of air through the vocal cords. Gardner was heard saying” I can’t breathe”. If so his windpipes were not obstructed.

There will be a Federal Investigation to determine if his civil rights were violated. Was he committing an crime that merited a forceful arrest? That is the big question. Would a white man or Latino have been arrested for violating the law on selling packs of cigarettes? Let us answer that question.

Addendum: In an attempt to clarify my blog; (1)-I do not condone the police action in this case. Gardner was not  being abusive or a threat to the police. (2) the "crime of selling loose cigarettes did not merit the gang of police to arrest him in handcuffs. (3) the so called "choke hold" was not the cause of his demise but it was not a warranted act, (4) His medical problems and stress of the incident probably caused a cardiac arrhythmia (Ventricular Fibrillation?) which is incompatible with life since oxygen does not reach the brain or other organs. This would give him the impression that he could not breathe. (5) The police and EMRs  were guilty of not administering CPR during the  6 or 7 minutes he was anoxic and on the ground. This is a crime that th3ey should be punished for. His life might have been saved  if CPR was instituted. (6) the EMRs did not use their defibrillator to restart normal cardiac rhythm,. #s 5&6 should be cause for Federal court action based on deprivation of his civil rights

4 comments:

  1. Doc,

    The coroner determined Eric Garner's death was caused by homicide.

    I'm going to leave it at that. I know for sure I cannot have a non-emotional conversation on this topic because I cannot turn off my empathy for all those who have died due to someone else's power trip.

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    1. I do not deny the coroner;s report and the findings of an independent autopsy paid for by the family. Unfortunately expert witnesses are often influenced by the DOLLAR. That can always raise a doubt in findings..

      This is a copy from either the Times or WSJ:"Once again a Grand Jury did not find cause to indict a policemen for the death of a black male. Despite the fact that “The New York Medical Examiner has ruled Garner's death a homicide. The cause of death was "compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." But the medical examiner also listed acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and hypertensive cardiovascular disease as contributing factors in Garner's death.”

      The medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide and found that a chokehold contributed to it. A forensic pathologist hired by Garner's family, Dr. Michael Baden, agreed with those findings, saying there was hemorrhaging on Garner's neck indicative of neck compressions.
      Police union officials and Pantaleo's lawyer have argued that the officer used a takedown move taught by the police department, not a chokehold, because he was resisting arrest and that Garner's poor health was the main reason he died."

      WE should not confuse our empathy with reality.

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  2. Who deserves CPR? You only give CPR to someone who's life you value. No atempt was made to save the lives of any of the unarmed shooting victims in the recently publicized cases. A few were actually handcuffed after death. If you weren't certain they were dead and they were no longer a threat, aid should have been given. Leaving a body in the street for four hours reminds me of Medieval and barbaric times when bodies were displayed at the city gates as a warning.

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  3. First let me start out by saying that Homicide in and of itself is not always a crime.. All it means is that One human being was complicate in the death of another.
    Secondly, that greedy progressive mayor of NY wanted to make sure that he wasn't losing out on tax revenues so he ordered the NYPD to crack down on illegal cigarette sales two weeks prior to this incident.
    The cops targeted Garner because they considered him an easy arrest, they knew him to be non-violent from previous arrests for the same thing. He was supposed to be a statistic on the monthly review to show that NYPD was doing their jobs as directed.
    Given his health issues, the other way they could have subdued him, the dreaded Tazer, would have probably have affected him just as badly.
    I blame DiBlasio more than the police. And I have no great love for the police, but they are a necessary evil. Without them,anarchy would run rampant in the streets.
    They need to be set free to pursue real criminals and real crimes and not act as tax collectors.

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