Breathe Easy

Eric Garner died when an officer put him in a choke hold. Even though choke holds are against New York Police Department (NYPD) policy the officer was not fired or even disciplined. To make matters worse NYPD officers are still using choke holds despite all of this:

Back in 1994, just over a year after the police commissioner at the time, Raymond W. Kelly, categorically banned officers from using the maneuver, a Bronx man named Anthony Baez Jr. died when an officer, enraged that a football had hit his patrol car, put Mr. Baez in a chokehold.

Two decades later, complaints about officers using chokeholds continue to flow into the independent city agency responsible for investigating police abuse. From 2009 to June 2014, the agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, found enough evidence to substantiate complaints against 10 officers accused of using the move on duty.

In July, the use of a chokehold emerged again, this time in the fatal encounter on Staten Island between Mr. Garner and Officer Daniel Pantaleo. The confrontation, much of it captured on video, provided a direct look at the potential effect of an officer’s arm being wrapped around a person’s neck.

The tough on crime crowd will tell you that you’re safe so long as you don’t break the law. What these authority apologists won’t tell you is that the average American unknowingly commits an average of three felonies a day. Good luck with that whole not breaking the law strategy.