Protests erupt in wake of chokehold death decision | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Protests erupt in wake of chokehold death decision

Protesters are flooding the streets of New York and elsewhere -- chanting, blocking traffic and demanding change after the decision not to indict in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

Demonstrators staged a "die-in" in Brooklyn, New York, late Thursday. They lay in the middle of Atlantic Avenue. An eerie silence descended as the protesters, who had cardboard coffins, stopped chanting.

The march was being led by three mothers, all of whom had lost a son to police. Protesters stopped other marchers from getting ahead of the women. They wanted them to walk in front.

"I'm so happy that people of all cultures, all ethnicities, came out to show their love and support, and basically we have to make a change because they're killing us off," a protester told CNN.
Garner video: What the grand jury saw

A part of the Brooklyn Bridge was closed. Protesters marched up Broadway, and police used pepper spray on the West Side Highway near Houston Street. The vast majority of the demonstrations were peaceful.

"What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" protesters shouted in New York's Foley Square.

They chanted Garner's final words: "I can't breathe!"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, this verdict was an absolute travesty of justice, and needs to be addressed through the courts.

But we also need to have a national conversation about how police are trained in this country, with national standards on outlawing the excessive use of force in the process of arresting ANYONE.

Unfortunately, the "Israelification" of American police is not helping to moderate the situation.

As reported at rawstory.com in December of 2011:

The extreme militarization of American police forces has been brought to public attention by the tactics employed against Occupy protesters, which often appear more appropriate to counter-terrorism operations than to the control of non-violent protest. According to investigative journalist Max Blumenthal, however, the proper term for this ruthless suppression of dissent should be “Israelification.” In an article which begins with examples of American police training alongside Israeli security forces, Blumenthal writes, “Having been schooled in Israeli tactics perfected during a 63 year experience of controlling, dispossessing, and occupying an indigenous population, local police forces have adapted them to monitor Muslim and immigrant neighborhoods in US cities. Meanwhile, former Israeli military officers have been hired to spearhead security operations at American airports and suburban shopping malls, leading to a wave of disturbing incidents of racial profiling, intimidation, and FBI interrogations of innocent, unsuspecting people. The Israeli influence has been particularly strong in New York City where, Blumenthal writes, “under the leadership of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, ties between the NYPD and Israel have deepened by the day. Kelly embarked on his first trip to Israel in early 2009 to demonstrate his support for Israel’s ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip. … Kelly returned to Israel the following year to speak at the Herziliya Conference, an annual gathering of neoconservative security and government officials who obsess over supposed ‘demographic threats.’ … Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret ‘Demographics Unit’ designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city.” Not only dissidents but even ordinary criminals may be treated as terrorists under the Israel model, which can also include the routine use of torture. Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham School of Law’s Center on National Security, told Blumenthal, “After 9/11 we reached out to the Israelis on many fronts and one of those fronts was torture. The training in Iraq and Afghanistan on torture was Israeli training. There’s been a huge downside to taking our cue from the Israelis and now we’re going to spread that into the fabric of everyday American life? It’s counter-terrorism creep. And it’s exactly what you could have predicted would have happened.” .

This country does not need more techniques in torture, terror, or causing death to unarmed suspects; it needs a way to teach police how to de-escalate a situation, to the point where, if the suspect is unarmed, that no violence has to be used.

Otherwise, and I shudder to think of it, there will be more Fergusons, and more New Yorks, in terms of killing of unarmed, minority suspects.

We can stop this trend, but it will take enormous good will and hard work on the part of all police departments in this country, all community outreach volunteers, and the courts.

Comments

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA