VIEW FROM HERE: NYPD wolf pack attack and kill unarmed man on Staten Island
How else to describe them? The officers circled the big black man, Eric Garner, 43, a father of six who witnesses said had just broken up a fight, snatching at him until one of them strikes, grabbing Garner around the neck while the rest pile on while he is choked and brought to the ground where he is recorded repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe”. Some say officers need more training, and that can’t hurt, but that is not the root problem here.
The Police Academy already explains and demonstrates proper use of force, hopefully after the seminars on avoiding senseless confrontations and no place in the training is it said to attack, choke and then pile on until a person suspected of selling (illegal) cigarettes stops quivering.
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, 65, told The Daily News: “It’s just a lack of humanity,” she said. “That’s what it was. He was nothing to them, but he was our people. He was just a big guy on the street.”
No, this was not for lack of training, this was a primal act of racism, a wish to take down a big one. The adrenaline was running, there was no one there to stop them, and they did what their mentality has done many times before. And we can all thank 22-year-old Ramsey Orta for having the presence of mind to use his camera and record the scene because it stops the official lying and willful blindness right when it starts.
The Orta video is a snapshot of a still-existing attitude, a brutal aspect of the American character that holds over from the centuries of slavery where it was openly expressed by men who were masters, drovers, overseers, traders and auctioneers of slaves. By those who were the slave patrollers and slave catchers. Most of them God-fearing Christians and all of them wielding a whip. These rather-forgotten histories are not proudly passed down, but they exist for the great-great-grandparents of those we mostly see now at Tea Party rallies and probably in the U. S. Congress.
It would not be surprising if many heirs to that tradition gravitated toward professions that included capturing, punishing and incarcerating black people. Here, they are able to continue the family legacy of inhumanity, where the past job descriptions have been lost in time but the attitudes, like great-grandma’s recipes for apple pie, remain imbedded and passed down through generations.