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Today is a day ending in “y,” so a grand jury in America declined to indict a police officer in the death of an unarmed black man. No, not that one. Or that one. This one.

A Staten Island grand jury has voted not to bring criminal charges against the white New York City police officer at the center of the Eric Garner case, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday.

To refresh your memory, Eric Garner was a black man selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner back in July. The New York Police Department wanted to bust him, because selling untaxed cigarettes one or two at a time to addicts who perhaps don’t have ten bucks for an entire pack at the nearest bodega is the greatest threat to NYC since Osama bin Laden first heard about the World Trade Center. In the course of the arrest, one cop put Garner in a chokehold and rode him to the ground while Garner struggled and cried, “I can’t breathe!”


There isn’t even any debate about the facts of the case the way there is in Ferguson with competing eyewitness statements. The entire New York incident was caught on video. You can hear Garner hollering over and over that he can’t breathe. The New York City coroner ruled Garner's death a homicide due to “compression of neck (chokehold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” To top it off, the NYPD outlawed chokeholds in 1993 and had not trained new recruits in the maneuver for ten years before that because so many suspects around the country had died when over-caffeinated cops had taken out their 50 Shades of Grey fantasies on them.

Maybe that’s the problem: The officer in the Garner case, one Daniel Pantaleo, hadn’t been trained in how to properly choke out a suspect. Someone get Jason Bourne over there, stat.

We’re not sure why we’re even surprised that video evidence wasn’t enough to return an indictment. After all, the grand jury was empanelled on Staten Island, the borough that just overwhelmingly re-elected this asshole to represent it in Congress.

This comes on top of President Obama announcing he would seek funds to outfit cops across the country with body cameras to hopefully try to prevent another Ferguson situation. Wingnuts are opposed because any money Obama wants to spend is bad and shouldn't we be putting cameras on criminals instead? Meanwhile, liberals have been wondering if cops wearing cameras would make any difference. Now we know the answer.

Hey, a silver lining: The NYPD is bringing both sides together!

And, unlike some cops who kill unarmed black men and feel just fine about it, at least Officer Pantaleo is real sorry 'bout that:

Another silver lining: Gas has gotten much cheaper so we can afford more of it to burn this motherfucker down.

[New York Times]

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