The Homicide No One Committed: Eric Garner's Death At The Hands Of An NYPD Officer No-Billed By Grand Jury

from the inequitable-treatment-for-all! dept

Another citizen dies at the hand of a police officer and another grand-jury-in-name-only can't be bothered to return an indictment. I won't rehash the stats, but the grand jury process exists for one purpose: returning indictments. And now a system that almost always acts as the prosecutor's rubber stamp has failed to do so. Of course, in both cases, the accused were law enforcement officers and that changes everything.

There are some similarities between the Eric Garner case and the Michael Brown case, and they are significant. In both cases, the men were large, black and unarmed. In both cases, a minor crime was allegedly involved -- petty theft in Brown's case and (very allegedly -- this narrative appeared well after the initial reports) the sale of untaxed single cigarettes ("loosies") in Garner's.

The cases diverge, as well. Brown was shot. Garner was choked. In Brown's case, there were multiple eyewitnesses, but they offered conflicting and shifting accounts of what happened. In Garner's case, there were multiple unblinking witnesses -- cellphone cameras -- that captured the entire incident.

In both cases, the grand juries spent weeks examining the evidence. Cases involving those outside of the law enforcement community are examined in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. The grand jury doesn't need a preponderance of evidence to return an indictment in 99.9% of its cases. All it needs is a prosecutor to tell it that probable cause exists and what charges it should bring. A minimum of evidence is provided for its consideration and, in almost every case, the grand jury applies the rubber stamp and the wheels of the "justice" system continue to roll.

Officer Pantaleo faced a greater challenge than Officer Wilson, though. There was videotaped evidence of his every move during the incident. At multiple points, his testimony directly contradicted what the recordings showed.

He acknowledged that he heard Mr. Garner saying, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” and insisted that he tried to disengage as quickly as he could…
Watch the video for yourself and see if Pantaleo's statements match his actions.


Pantaleo may have released the chokehold, but he didn't "disengage." Instead, he moved toward the top of Garner's body and held his face down on the pavement. These two moves, one forbidden and one possibly unnecessary, were all that was needed to kill Eric Garner.

I don't use the word "kill" lightly. That's quoting the findings of the medical examiner. "Compression of the neck and chest." "Homicide." That's from the official autopsy. Garner was killed by Officer Pantaleo.

Pantaleo defended his chokehold further by stating that Garner's audible complaints that he couldn't breathe were evidence that he could actually breathe. Fair enough, I suppose, but what Garner was saying was that he was having great difficulty breathing, using what little oxygen he had available to inform the officer of this fact. Just because he didn't phrase it more accurately doesn't change the facts. Garner had trouble breathing, thanks to Pantaleo's actions, right up until he couldn't breathe anymore.

According to his lawyer, Pantaleo justified his chokehold further -- first by stating his fear for his and the other officers' safety and second, by claiming he detached himself as quickly as he could and cleared the path for paramedics to provide assistance. Again, the video contradicts his testimony.

“That’s why he attempted to get off as quick as he could,” Mr. London said. “He thought that once E.M.T. arrived, everything would be O.K.”


The recordings show Pantaleo restraining Garner well past the point of any resistance before heading to the periphery and waving to the cameras. There's a long wait between Pantaleo's disengagement and the paramedics' arrival, during which time a variety of cops appear to believe (despite the physical evidence they're manhandling) that Eric Garner is simply unconscious -- and attempt to undo his death by shouting at him and rolling his lifeless body back and forth

This death is linked to Ferguson mostly in terms of chronology. Garner's death at the hands of a police officer bears more resemblance to the extended restraint and excessive force that brought about the deaths of Kelly Thomas and David Silva. The autopsies contain certain similarities -- like the listing of preexisting health conditions that may have contributed to their deaths. Of course, it's very likely that all three men would still be alive if not for their "interactions" with law enforcement, but medical examiners aren't really interested in pointing this out.

But Garner's was different in this respect: it was determined to be a homicide. But the grand jury viewed all the evidence provided to them by prosecutors uninterested in prosecuting and somehow managed to avoid bringing any charges at all. As Scott Greenfield states in his excellent writeup on the subject, this presents a bit of a problem. Unlike Missouri, where charges can still be pursued without a grand jury indictment, in New York it's a grand jury or nothing.

The District Attorney of Richmond County, New York, has, by the intentional sabotage of his own grand jury presentment, created the legal conundrum of a homicide without a perpetrator. It cannot be, yet it is, because he chose to make it so.
Pantaleo now resides in this impossible state. Possibly not for long, as the federal government is launching a civil rights inquiry, but for the time being, he is the recipient of one of the justice system's many "miracles." While it's true that a medical examiner's declaration of "homicide" doesn't actually denote a criminal act has taken place, it does signify that the death was neither accidental nor natural. There was a perpetrator involved and in a normal grand jury setting, this would easily have resulted in an indictment. The jury trial following the indictment would have sorted out the particulars of the death, and perhaps Pantaleo would have walked free nonetheless, but because the grand jury process resulted in "no true bill," Garner's death remains in limbo -- a homicide with no perpetrator to hold accountable or to clear of culpability.

The NYPD is readying its body cam pilot program, but that seemingly offers little in the way of reassurance in light of this outcome. We have just seen an officer who choked a man to death walk away a free man, despite three separate recordings of the incident. What good are cameras if the system continues to grant abusive officers this much leeway? What difference does damning footage make when grand juries believe cops' statements about "fear for their safety" more than their own eyes? These questions can't be answered, at least not with any degree of certainty. And they're uncomfortable questions, both for those who fear that excessive force and misconduct will remain a constant no matter what corrective measures are put in place, as well as for those who generally come down on the side of law enforcement. For those wishing to hold police accountable, each incident caught is more evidence of systemic problems. For those siding with the police, it's just one more indefensible position for them to defend.

One thing is certain, this case would never have received as much attention if cameras hadn't been present. We may not like the outcome, but the process that brought it this far was pushed along by the existence of multiple recordings.

I'm not of the belief that this wholly negates the benefits of body cameras. What it does serious damage to is the notion that they can be tools of greater accountability. The system skews heavily in favor of officers facing charges and hours of footage detailing abuse and misconduct won't change that, at least not on its own. But the gathering of evidence is important, nonetheless. So is the deterrent effect, in which the knowledge of being filmed alters behavior -- both for police officers and the people they interact with.

But using this outcome to declare police body cameras useless accomplishes nothing. We've already seen what happens without them. The alternative is to allow things to proceed as they have so far, and no one's happy with the status quo. The court of public opinion can't return indictments, but it can provoke needed changes within the system -- and that's a lot easier to do when there's footage backing up the claims. It won't be an overnight process, but it can be done.

Filed Under: eric garner, grand juries, grand jury, homicide, nypd


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 2:05pm

    Self-fulfilling prophecy

    Police claim that such actions are justified because they 'fear for their safety'*, and the juries or grand-juries buy it. Thing is though, as it becomes more and more clear to the public that, if a cop feels like sending you to the hospital or morgue, safe in the knowledge that they won't face any repercussions for it, then more and more the public with believe that if they want to get out alive from an altercation with a cop, they will have to defend themselves.

    Probably going to jail beats probably going to the morgue after all.

    If the system was capable and willing to deal with murderous cops, then people at least would have some reassurance that a cop would stop before it reached that point, but with case after case where a cop kills someone and nothing happens to them due to it, if a cop feels like offing someone for contempt of cop or just to satisfy a sick desire to assert their authority, then uh, what exactly is stopping them again?

    There was multiple videos of this cop killing the victim, videos which directly contradicted the statements made by the cop as to what happened, and yet even then the system refused to hold the cop accountable.

    When the system fails, and the public knows that if they want to get out alive they are going to have to take the matter into their own hands... well, when it reaches that point, then those cowardly thugs with badges will have something to fear, and they'll have no-one to blame but themselves and the system that blindly defended their actions.

    *To which the obvious response is 'If you wanted a safe job you picked the wrong profession you coward. It's your job to take risks and put yourself between the public and dangerous situations, if you can't handle that, quit, and let someone with more courage take over for you.'

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    • icon
      Binko Barnes (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:15pm

      Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

      The really amazing thing is that the police have in fact picked a safe job.

      Endless propaganda from the police and media have convinced most everybody that the police are in constant danger. Police training now reflects that same belief - making officer safety the first priority in all situations.

      But nationwide statistics complied by the FBI show that a mere 27 police officers were killed by criminal action in 2013. Twenty-seven!

      In the same year police killed at least 400 to 500 citizens, possibly many many more since local agencies do what they can to obscure and re-classify police killings.

      Fortunately the narrative is starting to come unraveled. People are asking why police are killing at a rate 20 or 30 or more times the rate they are being killed.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:36pm

        Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

        You underestimate the cowardice of the people who try and justify police misconduct and abuse of authority by pulling out the 'They feared for their safety/It's a dangerous job' excuse.

        To those kinds of people, any police fatalities are 'too much', so as long as any cops are injured or killed on the job, to them it will still be all the justification they believe is needed to give the police a blank check on their behavior.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 7:15pm

        Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

        People are asking why police are killing at a rate 20 or 30 or more times the rate they are being killed.

        Not for long, I don't think. These cops are well on their way to provoking a race war. Cops are going to get shot on sight in self defense by otherwise innocent people trying to protect themselves from, look at the record, homicidal cops, and the judicial system backs them up.

        How long is USA's racism epidemic going to go on? You'd all better start dealing with it, soon.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 7:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

          Remember, we had slavery WRITTEN INTO OUR CONSTITUTION. And while we amended it away there are very few people who want to acknowledge that this is what our great, Freedom (TM) loving country was built upon.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 11:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

          "How long is USA's racism epidemic going to go on? You'd all better start dealing with it, soon."

          We've been dealing with it for the last 50 or so years. This isn't the sort of thing that gets fixed quickly. Rather it's the sort of thing that changes over generations once you get the appropriate social pressures going.

          Part of is it anyways, the rest is mostly a function of economic and education issues, something even harder to fix.

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          • identicon
            David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

            Germany did not get "changes over generations" to fix fascism. It basically got to turn on a dime, and that worked because the vast majority of people do what they are told to do. And the next generation grows up in the belief that the state was taken over by an evil minority and everybody else resisted.

            And in one generation, the comfort lie turns into the truth because nobody really knew anything else.

            That's how civilization works. Without input to the contrary, people's belief systems will favor bashing every other's tribes' living daylights out.

            Either you are willing to fix it, and then you need to get the fix in right away (even if it takes lots of time to take a good hold), or not.

            Because that's the only way in which it works. If you expect the fix to emerge as a result of people becoming more and more civilized without outward influence, you are bound to get disappointed.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

              Yeah, and now Germany is completely devoid of any and all neo nazi groups - right? You just will not find news about some hate group causing trouble over there because they got it all solved by turning on a dime. Why can't that be done here one might ask. Well, because it just isn't so - that's why.

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              • identicon
                David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

                Yeah, and now Germany is completely devoid of any and all neo nazi groups - right?

                They are about as prevalent as Nazis in the U.S. and about as influentual: their main contributions are in clothing, music, and hate (including hate crimes with a non-zero but still rather negligible rate of lethality). Politically they are irrelevant, managing parlamentary representation every few decades at most.

                Contrast this with France where the Front National manages to win majorities in local elections, or in Austria where the right-wing nationalists managed majorities and/or coalitions in several states.

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              • icon
                tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

                You're right about that. Germany was harboring Nazis long after the war ended, some of them even in gov't, and we're still finding them. I blame it on flawed implementation. They shouldn't have outlawed Nazis and Nazi symbolism. The way to counter hate speech is more speech, not censorship.

                It's very frustrating that crap like this can take so damned long to get past. Star Trek did it in the '60s! What's our problem?!? :-|

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            • icon
              Cal (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

              You are incorre3ct, Germany was changed over a couple of decades.

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              • identicon
                David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 6:04am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

                That wasn't the point. The point is that they were left no leeway to change.

                It does not feel like the U.S. has made any progress since Eisenhower sent the Army to desegregate the Southern schools. Given the environment in which Eisenhower grew up, I rather doubt that he'd have been comfortable with, say, his sister marrying a negro (which would likely have been the polite expression at his time). Racism and chauvinism are powerful forces wired into our tribal histories. But at some point you have to take a choice and make a stand, and that means recognizing that humanity cannot be reserved based on the color of people's skin.

                And at the current point of time, America does not make the impression it is trying hard enough. Everybody is getting sick of political correctness and nobody wants to change the status quo where it would actually make a difference.

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          • icon
            tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

            I take that to mean you can't be bothered to see it fixed. It's not something you have any personal control over, so you wash your hands of the problem. Martin Luther King knew people like you well; the silent majority. Nixon and Johnson relied on your willing compliance.

            None of those Africans asked to be brought here and enslaved. White crackers' resentment of them still being here is wholly misplaced.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 3:49pm

    The grand jury's decision does not create a case of a homicide without a perpetator. It creates a case of a homicide that is not criminal (in the eyes of the grand jury). This is not a legal conundrum, and anyone who thinks it is probably shouldn't be writing about the case.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:18pm

      New York homicide [was Re: ]

      ...probably shouldn't be writing about the case.

      Mr Cushing linked to Mr Greenfield's writeup. I believe that Mr Greenfield is a New York attorney. Here's an excerpt from his post:
      Under New York Penal Law §125.00, homicide is defined as “conduct which causes the death of a person . . . under circumstances constituting murder, manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, abortion in the first degree or self-abortion in the first degree. This is not a matter of debate or discussion, not that people lacking either the knowledge or expertise won’t do so anyway, but a matter of law.

      (Hyperlinks omitted.)

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 9:34pm

        Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

        That's all well and good as far as legal terminology, but the medical examiner does not make legal determinations.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 10:02pm

          Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

          ... but the medical examiner does not make legal determinations.
          Yet the medical examiner is a man of ordinary prudence and caution, isn't he? And his reasoning in this case was supported by the objective facts and circumstances detailed in his report, wasn't it?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:15am

            Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

            I have no reason to believe otherwise. What does that have to do with it? His determination of homicide means X (Garner was killed by the actions of another), and an alternative definition of homicide means Y (Garner was killed by the criminal actions of another). This is not an "impossible" case of X without X, it is an easy to comprehend case of X without Y.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

              His determination of homicide means X ...

              The medical examiner reached a firm and definite conclusion that Garner was killed by the volitional actions of another. He was using a definition at least similar to this one?
              Homicide— “occurs when death results from...” an injury or poisoning or from “...a volitional act committed by another person to cause fear, harm, or death. Intent to cause death is a common element but is not required for classification as homicide.”

              Further, the medical examiner reached a firm and definite conclusion that it wasn't an accident, didn't he?
              Accident— “there is little or no evidence that the injury or poisoning occurred with intent to harm or cause death. In essence, the fatal outcome was unintentional.”

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                I'm not sure where you are getting those definitions, or that they are accurate as applied to the medical examiner's determination in this case. See http://time.com/3618279/eric-garner-chokehold-crime-staten-island-daniel-pantaleo/. For example, how on Earth would the medical examiner know whether any act was committed "to cause fear, harm, or death"? The medical examiner has no means to judge the actor's intent.

                But even if we assume everything you said is accurate (which I don't concede), that is not necessarily the same thing as a "homicide" as defined under N.Y. PEN. LAW § 125.00.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 11:08am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                  I see now where the first definition came from. You seem to have left out the portion stating "It is to be emphasized that
                  the classification of Homicide for the purposes of death certification is a “neutral” term and neither indicates nor implies criminal intent, which remains a determination within the province of legal processes."

                  That must have been just an oversight, though, right?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:45pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                    That must have been just an oversight, though, right?

                    No, I believe you're using a different source. That is, if there's an oversight, it's on the part of CDC Atlanta.

                    However, I'm willing to accept that New York law reserves to the grand jury the “exclusive province of drawing inferences from facts which [do] not require the assistance of an expert.”

                    Although I'd emphasize that Mr Greenfield may or may not accept that contention.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 2:07pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                      Interesting. I apologize for my implication that you were being intentionally deceitful. Here is the full section from A Guide for Manner of Death Classification, 1st Ed., from the National Association of Medical Examiners:

                      "Homicide occurs when death results from a volitional act committed by another person to cause fear, harm, or death. Intent to cause death is a common element but is not required for classification as homicide (more below). It is to be emphasized that the classification of Homicide for the purposes of death certification is a “neutral” term and neither indicates nor implies criminal intent, which remains a determination within the province of legal processes."

                      Judging from comments on his blog, Mr. Greenfield appears to be a bully more interested in name calling that substantively engaging anyone who questions him.

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                      • icon
                        ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:33am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                        You are missing the point. At least the point of the article which is what you seem to be trying to refute. Your focus on the exact definition of whether homicide is criminal or not is irrelevant. I'm tempted to think that you are intentionally obfuscating the issue by focusing on that particular part of the definition, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

                        By the definition you yourself quoted, a homicide is a human death that occurs by the action or inaction of another person. The determination of the coroner, a highly trained and educated and (let's assume) very experienced person, is that a homicide occurred. In a court of law that qualifies as expert testimony. Expert testimony is (usually) also accepted as fact.

                        We can then agree that a fact of the case is that a homicide occurred, can't we? Therefore, what the grand jury has done then is either:
                        1) completely ignored this particular fact of the case, or;
                        2) accepted that a homicide did occur, but that Orc. Pantaleo could not possibly have been the responsible party ... but then who the hell else could it have been?

                        For the purposes of a grand jury it doesn't matter if it was criminal homicide; that's what an actual trial and jury is supposed to determine.

                        Fact: a homicide occurred (I understand that this could be argued by opposing "expert testimony", but for the time being that's the only conclusion, and the only conclusion presented to the grand jury)
                        Fact: Ofc. Pantaleo was very much present when it happened.

                        It defies logic to try to argue that Pantaleo should not be indicted and face a jury to determine if his actions were criminal and/or negligent.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 9:03am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                          For the purposes of a grand jury it doesn't matter if it was criminal homicide

                          Huh? You lost me when you emphasized it “doesn't matter”.
                          CPL § 190.65 Grand jury; when indictment is authorized.

                          1. Subject to the rules prescribing the kinds of offenses which may be charged in an indictment, a grand jury may indict a person for an offense when (a) the evidence before it is legally sufficient to establish that such person committed such offense provided, however, such evidence is not legally sufficient when corroboration that would be required, as a matter of law, to sustain a conviction for such offense is absent, and (b) competent and admissible evidence before it provides reasonable cause to believe that such person committed such offense.

                          My understanding of Mr Greenfield's argument was that New York Penal Law definition of homicide was broader than the medical examiner's definition.

                          But now you seem to arguing something new—when you say it “doesn't matter.”

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                          • icon
                            ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 12:22pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                            It doesn't matter as far as the grand jury is concerned. It is up to the actual jury in an actual criminal proceeding to determine if the homicide was criminal.

                            Don't you get it? If the grand jury in this case was operating correctly its sole responsibility was to determine if there was enough plausible potential evidence to proceed with a criminal trial, determined (in this case) by a) was there a homicide? (yes, according to expert testimony); and b) was Ofc. Panteleo there/involved? (yes, according to multiple witnesses and video recording).

                            They just have to figure out if a homicide occurred, not whether it was criminal. That's up to the jury in the criminal proceeding to determine.

                            I don't know how to make it any more clear.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 5:07pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                              It doesn't matter as far as the grand jury is concerned. It is up to the actual jury in an actual criminal proceeding to determine if the homicide was criminal.
                              You seem to be implying here that a grand jury proceeding is not “an actual criminal proceeding.” Is that really what you mean? What kind of proceeding is the grand jury process then? If it is not “an actual criminal proceeding”?

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                              • icon
                                ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 6:14pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                You seem to be implying here that a grand jury proceeding is not “an actual criminal proceeding.”

                                You misunderstand. I'm not implying that a grand jury proceeding is not an actual criminal proceeding, I'm flat out saying that a grand jury proceeding is not a criminal proceeding.

                                "A grand jury is a legal body that is empowered to conduct official proceedings to investigate potential criminal conduct..." Source

                                A grand jury is "[a] panel of citizens that is convened by a court to decide whether it is appropriate for the government to indict (proceed with a prosecution against) someone suspected of a crime." Source

                                "A grand jury's purpose is to investigate alleged crimes, examine evidence, and issue indictments if they believe that there is enough evidence for a trial to proceed. They are an impartial panel of citizens who must determine whether reasonable cause or probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed exists. The grand jury acts as a check on the prosecutorial power of the state." Source

                                So, no, a grand jury is not an "actual criminal proceeding." It is the precursor for and determinant of whether an actual criminal proceeding should occur.

                                Jeez, are you really this dense? FFS, you could have just Googled the definition of a grand jury yourself.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:12pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                  I'm flat out saying that a grand jury proceeding is not a criminal proceeding.
                                  I get the feeling we're speaking two different languages here. Just presume I'm really this dense.

                                  You didn't answer my followup question, so I'll repeat it: What kind of proceeding is the grand jury process then? If it is not “an actual criminal proceeding”?

                                  You do agree that the grand jury process is a legal proceeding, yes? Do you have some more specific adjectives to describe various legal proceedings? Such as, civil, criminal... what else?

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                                  • icon
                                    ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:40pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                    Ok, I see what you're doing now. After having the rest of your argument destroyed you're trying to salvage this one little bit -- that a grand jury is a criminal proceeding -- so you can save face.

                                    Fair enough. I'll stipulate that a grand jury is part of the criminal process. Ok?

                                    Your turn. Admit that
                                    The grand jury's decision does not create a case of a homicide without a perpetator. It creates a case of a homicide that is not criminal (in the eyes of the grand jury). This is not a legal conundrum, and anyone who thinks it is probably shouldn't be writing about the case.

                                    is wholly incorrect as I and others have demonstrated.

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                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 9:01pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                      Fair enough. I'll stipulate that a grand jury is part of the criminal process. Ok?

                                      No, not fair enough.

                                      Please admit that, in New York, the state grand jury proceedings are governed by, among other provisions of state law, the chapter known as the criminal procedure law (CPL).

                                      Beyond that, though, if you want to persist in distinguishing “actual criminal proceedings” from some other kind of proceedings under NY CPL, then I'd like you to please clarify that.

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                                      • icon
                                        ottermaton (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 6:25am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                        Please admit that, in New York, the state grand jury proceedings are governed by, among other provisions of state law, the chapter known as the criminal procedure law (CPL).

                                        Wow! That's quite the informative and supportive link you provided there (see? it helps when you actually follow links people provide), the entirety of which reads:

                                        § 1.00 Short title.
                                        This chapter shall be known as the criminal procedure law, and may be
                                        cited as "CPL".

                                        Haven't you ever learned to do research?

                                        Anyway, if what you're trying to say is that just because a grand jury is governed under CPL it therefore is itself a criminal proceeding, you're wrong. Funny how they don't define it as such in their own definitions of criminal courts (and if you're gonna have a criminal proceeding it only stands to reason it would have to occur in a criminal court):

                                        S 10.10 The criminal courts; enumeration and definitions.
                                        1. The "criminal courts" of this state are comprised of the superior
                                        courts and the local criminal courts.
                                        2. "Superior court" means:
                                        (a) The supreme court; or
                                        (b) A county court.
                                        3. "Local criminal court" means:
                                        (a) A district court; or
                                        (b) The New York City criminal court; or
                                        (c) A city court; or
                                        (d) A town court; or
                                        (e) A village court; or
                                        (f) A supreme court justice sitting as a local criminal court; or
                                        (g) A county judge sitting as a local criminal court.


                                        A grand jury is not a criminal proceeding, no more than Standards of Proof (also mentioned in and governed under the CPL) or Securing Defendants (also mentioned in and governed under the CPL) or Forfeiture of Bail (also mentioned in and governed under the CPL). The grand jury is a step along the way to a criminal proceeding, but that does not make it itself a criminal proceeding.

                                        Perhaps that's why NY State neatly describes a grand jury as a Preliminary Proceeding.

                                        Beyond that, though, if you want to persist in distinguishing “actual criminal proceedings” from some other kind of proceedings under NY CPL, then I'd like you to please clarify that.

                                        Sure. An "actual criminal proceeding" occurs in an "actual criminal court" (see above). Any proceedings that occur before them are Preliminary Proceedings. (see above)

                                        Clear enough?

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 10:16pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                              If the grand jury in this case was operating correctly...

                              By the phrase “operating correctly” are you referring to some normative theory of grand jury operation?

                              Or did you intend the meaning, “If the grand jury in this case was operating as usual...”? And, if you did intend that, then in New York, do state grand juries normally operate in accord with the law of that state?

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 9:19am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                          In a court of law that qualifies as expert testimony.

                          The guiding principle is that expert opinion is proper when it would help to clarify an issue calling for professional or technical knowledge, possessed by the expert and beyond the ken of the typical juror.

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                          • icon
                            ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 12:30pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                            “The guiding principle is that expert opinion is proper when it would help to clarify an issue calling for professional or technical knowledge, possessed by the expert and beyond the ken of the typical juror.”

                            Ok. And ...? I would posit that "professional or technical knowledge, possessed by the expert" medical examiner in determining the cause of death is most definitely "beyond the ken of the typical juror." That seems to only support my position.

                            Are you totally misunderstanding your own citation again?

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 3:50pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                          We can then agree that a fact of the case is that a homicide occurred, can't we?

                          CPL §190.25
                          5. The grand jury is the exclusive judge of the facts with respect to any matter before it.


                          CPL § 190.30
                          2. A report or a copy of a report made by a public servant or by a person employed by a public servant or agency who is a physicist, chemist, coroner or medical examiner, firearms identification expert, examiner of questioned documents, fingerprint technician, or an expert or technician in some comparable scientific or professional field, concerning the results of an examination, comparison or test performed by him in connection with a case which is the subject of a grand jury proceeding, may, when certified by such person as a report made by him or as a true copy thereof, be received in such grand jury proceeding as evidence of the facts stated therein.

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                          • icon
                            ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 6:37pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                            I've been having trouble trying to determine whether you are a (somewhat gifted) troll or if you are batshit insane or if you just downright stupid.

                            But I've come to realize you're none of the above. You're actually smart. But you're making the classic smart person mistake: thinking you're the smartest person in the room. To wit:

                            You keep quoting statutes thinking they mean one thing yet they actually mean the opposite of what you intend. To use this one as an example:

                            Sure, part 1 states that the grand jury is the ultimate determiner of facts.

                            But then in part 2 after a lengthy definition of what constitutes an "expert" it directly says that testimony shall "be received in such grand jury proceeding as evidence of the facts stated therein."

                            Therefore, the conclusion of the Medical Examiner is "received in such grand jury proceeding as evidence of the facts stated therein."

                            And before we go any further down this rabbit hole let me be clear: it DOES NOT MATTER if the grand jury accepts it as fact or not. Their only job is to determine with the evidence presented to them (like the ME's conclusion of homicide) if there is cause to continue on with an actual criminal proceeding.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:20pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                              But then in part 2 after a lengthy definition of what constitutes an "expert" it directly says that testimony shall "be received in such grand jury proceeding as evidence of the facts stated therein."

                              “Shall”?

                              That's not the word I'm reading. The word I'm reading is “may”.
                              A report ... made by a ... coroner or medical examiner ... may ... be received ... as evidence of the facts stated therein.
                              “May” is a permissive word, not a mandate.

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                              • icon
                                ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:45pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                Good point. Good catch. I stand corrected.

                                But that still does nothing to support your assertion that the grand jury's purpose is to determine criminality. They don't. See various preceding citations.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 9:24pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                  See various preceding citations.

                                  Sorry, but there have been a fair number of citations in this thread.

                                  As a preliminary matter, please point out where I myself have either directly or indirectly asserted that “the grand jury's purpose is to determine criminality”? I'd like to see the exact context, before responding further. (You may, of course, link to specific comments here, using the “Link to This” url underneath each comment. Please do.)

                                  Then, in the main, please be more definite as to exactly which of the “various preceding citations” you're referring to.

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                                  • icon
                                    ottermaton (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 5:44am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                    Sorry, but there have been a fair number of citations in this thread.

                                    Oh, so now I have to do your homework for you, too? I guess you couldn't be bothered to follow any of the links I provided in the first place which is why we have to do this little dance again. Ok, here you go Try reading them this time.

                                    As a preliminary matter, please point out where I myself have either directly or indirectly asserted that “the grand jury's purpose is to determine criminality”?

                                    OMG. You can't be fucking serious. Actually, I'm afraid you are. It's right there in the comment you started this whole nonsense with! This part in particular: "[The grand jury's decision] creates a case of a homicide that is not criminal (in the eyes of the grand jury)"

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                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2014 @ 8:00am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                      As a preliminary matter, please point out where I myself have either directly or indirectly asserted that “the grand jury's purpose is to determine criminality”?
                                      OMG. You can't be fucking serious. Actually, I'm afraid you are. It's right there in the comment you started this whole nonsense with! This part in particular: "[The grand jury's decision] creates a case of a homicide that is not criminal (in the eyes of the grand jury)"
                                      Your hyperlink seems to be defective. Did you test it in your browser?

                                      Beyond that, though, it appears you've made another mistake. Looking at the part you quoted, it seems you're referring to the thread-starting comment, with a blank subject, and datestamped “ Dec 4th, 2014 @ 3:49pm”?

                                      For further reference, here is the text of that 3:49pm comment, in full:
                                      The grand jury's decision does not create a case of a homicide without a perpetator. It creates a case of a homicide that is not criminal (in the eyes of the grand jury). This is not a legal conundrum, and anyone who thinks it is probably shouldn't be writing about the case.

                                      Is this the comment which you're asserting that I myself posted? Please look closely at the gravatars which appear in the left portion of every comment heading. Are you accusing me of posting that particular comment?

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                                      • icon
                                        ottermaton (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 9:09am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                                        Your hyperlink seems to be defective. Did you test it in your browser?

                                        Hmm, that's odd. If you notice if you hover over the link I tried to create it appears to be an active link (by turning blue and underlining) but is not actually clickable. I guess it must have something to do with the fact that I tried to bold the link, but I've done that any number of times before with no problem. Weird.

                                        But, yes, you quoted the comment I was referring to. I did notice that different gravatars between the one from the orginal comments and the one on your recent posts, but assumed it was the same person from a different location (eg: posting from work then later from home). After more thoroughly reviewing the thread I see now that you are not the same person that started the thread.

                                        My bad all around.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 5:40pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

                          "We can then agree that a fact of the case is that a homicide occurred, can't we? Therefore, what the grand jury has done then is either:
                          1) completely ignored this particular fact of the case, or;
                          2) accepted that a homicide did occur, but that Orc. Pantaleo could not possibly have been the responsible party ... but then who the hell else could it have been? "

                          No. Because "homicide" means two different things. One definition (the "medical definition") is, to paraphrase, "somebody killed someone." That's what the medical examiner determined. Everyone agrees on that. The second definition (the "legal definition") is, to paraphrase, "somebody killed someone in a criminal manner." So, the grand jury may have accepted that a "medical" homicide occurred, that Pantaleo is the party responsible, and that there was insufficient evidence that a "criminal" homicide was committed.

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        • identicon
          AnonyBabs, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

          He/she doesn't? Isn't the entire role of the medical examiner to determine the legal cause of death?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:50am

            Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

            I'm not sure what you mean by "the legal cause of death"? The ME determines the cause of death as a factual matter. Whether any acts constitute crimes as a legal matter is not for the ME to determine.

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        • icon
          ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

          ... but the medical examiner does not make legal determinations.

          But then who does?

          Oh, wait, wait! I know! An actual jury which is exactly where the grand jury should have sent the case based on the unrefuted expert testimony they were given.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 5:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: New York homicide [was Re: ]

            Do you know the entirety of the evidence presented to the grand jury? If not, do you think it is wise to claim was was and was not refuted?

            Look, I agree that I think there should have been an indictment based on the limited evidence I am aware of. But that is a completely separate question from the misleading discussion of the evidence in the article.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:27pm

      Two things:

      1. A grand jury isn't for deciding guilt or innocence, their purpose is simply to determine if there is a case to be tried. 'Is there enough evidence available to send this to trial where it will be decided if a crime was committed?', that is the purpose of a grand jury.

      And let's be honest, if the one video-taped had been anyone other than a cop? One look at the videos and the answer would have been a resounding 'Yes, this deserves to go to trial', but since it's a cop...

      2. 'Homicide that is not criminal', is called 'self-defense', which this wasn't, and even if it was, that's something that should have been decided at a real trial, with a prosecution and defense presenting arguments and evidence, instead of just one side doing so as in the case of grand juries.

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      • icon
        pixelpusher220 (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:49pm

        Re: Two things:

        And this is because unlike non-cops, cops are specifically authorized to do things to others that are, on their context-less face, crimes.

        We give them such elevated privileges because it's necessary to do the job.

        Now, how using an illegal method of doing this isn't considered at LEAST negligent homicide...I've got no answer for.

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        • icon
          Cal (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:30am

          Re: Re: Two things:

          "cops are specifically authorized to do things to others that are, on their context-less face, crimes."

          Actually, they are not lawfully allowed to commit crimes in the name of "just doing their job" or "just doing whatever it takes to get the job done".

          That is a huge part of the conscription of law enforcement to the destruction of our nation. That does include prosecutors, judges, etc.

          This is actually *terrorism being used against the American people, the USA in the name of "law", while it is actually being committed under "color of law", pretend law created by someone who looks as if they can do so, but were never given that authority.

          *28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:05pm

        Re: Two things:

        ...that is the purpose of a grand jury.
        Except that you and I and everyone else knows that the overwhelming majority of cases do not go to trial. They end up in plea bargains.

        So, if we say that the purpose of a grand jury is what it actually does... then the purpose is figure out how much leverage the prosecutor gets in plea bargaining. Isn't that so?

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:11pm

          Re: Re: Two things:

          Good point, I suppose my 'this is the purpose' was more in theory than practice.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Two things:

            ...more in theory than practice.
            Of course, in those states where the prosecutor may proceed by information, rather than indictment, well, in theory, the prosecutor is still limited by his own conscience.

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    • identicon
      David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 2:36am

      Re:

      The grand jury's decision does not create a case of a homicide without a perpetator. It creates a case of a homicide that is not criminal (in the eyes of the grand jury).

      Correction: it creates a case of a homicide that, according to the Grand Jury's impression of the evidence presented by the prosecutor, does not require a trial to determine that it cannot have occured in a manner giving a reasonable suspicion of a crime.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:09am

      Re:

      "This is not a legal conundrum, and anyone who thinks it is probably shouldn't be writing about the case."

      Why? Should all opinion pieces now be required to have your stamp of approval prior to being published? Who put you in charge anyway.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re:

        Because people writing about things they don't understand is detrimental to the understanding of their readers.

        Whether anyone has put me in charge or not doesn't make my opinions any more or less valid.

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        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yet you're awfully quick to declare that other people's opinions are not only invalid, but shouldn't even be voiced.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            First, I stand by my opinion that people shouldn't say stupid things. Do you disagree?

            Second, I don't really see the supposed "impossibility" as an opinion, just like I don't see 2 + 2 = 5 as an opinion.

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            • icon
              John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "First, I stand by my opinion that people shouldn't say stupid things. Do you disagree?"

              Yes, I disagree. To adhere to your stance raises all kinds of thorny problems and is bad for society as a whole.

              "I don't really see the supposed "impossibility" as an opinion, just like I don't see 2 + 2 = 5 as an opinion."

              Well, I can't help you there.

              For the record, the way you counter people stating things as fact that you don't think are fact is by actually providing what you think is fact and your support for that opinion. I may have missed it here, but I've not seen you actually do that -- so you're missing an opportunity to correct and educate people.

              Just saying "shut up, you're wrong" only gets people to ignore you.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 2:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You can see my quote of A Guide for Classification of Death above, if you are so inclined.

                As for saying stupid things, I continue to align myself with Mark Twain on the subject.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              First, I stand by my opinion that people shouldn't say stupid things.

              I'm not sure if this is a paradox or just simple hypocrisy.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I stand by my opinion that people shouldn't say stupid things."

              And you are the sole arbiter of what is to be considered as stupid - got it.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Of course not. I have said nothing to suggest that.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                John Fenderson (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 9:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "And you are the sole arbiter of what is to be considered as stupid"

                And this is the #1 reason why that stance is unsupportable. Who gets to be the arbiter of what's stupid and what's not? How will that decision be made? Based on what criteria?

                Sometimes things that appear to be stupid in the moment turn out to be unmitigated genius in the end.

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                • icon
                  tqk (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 10:27am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Who gets to be the arbiter of what's stupid and what's not?

                  It sounds to me like you're in need of an emperor or (benevolent?) tyrant, and it would be remiss of me not to mention I'm available. Anytime you're ready; no hurry. I can promise I'll only use my powers for good and I can guarantee it'll be a great improvement over what's going on now.

                  What've you got to lose?

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    • identicon
      AnonyBabs, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:19am

      Re:

      Ah, so you're the authority. Well, we know Greenfield is a practicing attorney and so might be presumed to know something about the law. What are your bona fides?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re:

        I am also a practicing attorney. But that doesn't really say much. There are plenty of practicing attorneys with poor judgment and a room temperature IQ.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:08pm

    More weight

    >Pantaleo defended his chokehold further by stating that Garner's audible complaints that he couldn't breathe were evidence that he could actually breathe.

    The compression stops air coming in, not going out. What other choice would you have made with your dying breaths?

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  • identicon
    lars626, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:11pm

    Will they be releasing the transcripts?

    I would like to see what action can be taken to remove the prosecutor form his job. He obviously does not understand his job. Guilt or Innocence is for a jury to determine.

    I can see every lawyer for a black defendant he encounters in the future filing to papers to have him removed from their cases.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:21pm

    The first Youtube video has been claimed by Daily News L.P.
    WTF¿ Wasn't it a phonevid¿

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      There's absolutely no reason for a company or individual not to claim a vid on YT if they think they can get away with it, even temporarily, as it has little risk, and carries the potential for free, easy money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:29pm

    grand juries

    As I understand it, the purpose of grand juries is to keep the government in check, by preventing prosecutors from abusing their power. Unfortunately, prosecutors see themselves as being "on the same side" as the police, so they use the system to help out their friends instead. It also provides a convenient scapegoat - rather than having to say "I decided not to prosecute", they can say "well, I tried, but the GJ prevented it".

    Seems to me that it makes sense to always have a trial when somebody is killed by law enforcement. If its clear that they used reasonable force, such a trial shouldn't be too burdensome. With an actual jury, we could move to a world where it's the people being policed that decided what level of force is "reasonable", rather than those applying the force and their friends.

    Not sure what the answer is, but you have to wonder whether GJs are now doing more harm than good...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:39pm

      Re: grand juries

      It seems to me that we should make all criminal cases involving law enforcement federal cases, prosecuted by a federal prosector not associated with the district in question (e.g. a special prosecutor). This would minimize the conflict of interest in having a local district prosecutor pressing charges against individuals he/she works closely with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Quiet Lurcker, 4 Dec 2014 @ 6:59pm

        Re: Re: grand juries

        No, not a federal prosecutor.

        I agree, a case like this needs to be prosecuted. But, turning it over to the federal office simply moves it up one rung on the ladder.

        What's wanted is some mechanism whereby a lawyer who lives/works in the jurisdiction but not for the government is tapped to fill the role of prosecutor.

        His/her job becomes not just to put not just the cop but the entire department on trial.

        The whole purpose of the scheme is to underline the point that it is the voters who are taking steps to discipline misbehavior by their elected government or its agents.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re: grand juries

          What's wanted is some mechanism whereby a lawyer who lives/works in the jurisdiction but not for the government is tapped to fill the role of prosecutor.

          Tapped by whom? The police? The regular prosecutor? The judge? Those people are likely to pick someone they think will be friendly to the police position.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: grand juries

            Tapped by whom? ...The regular prosecutor?
            If you're considering the regular prosecutor, then shouldn't you also consider the regular public defender? Maybe even the chief public defender?

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: grand juries

              If you're considering the regular prosecutor, then shouldn't you also consider the regular public defender? Maybe even the chief public defender?

              There's no way the defense will be allowed to choose the prosecutor.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:25am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: grand juries

                ... chief public defender?
                There's no way the defense will be allowed to choose the prosecutor.
                The public defender's office generally does not represent accused police officers—whether or not there's a conflict. Officers usually obtain private representation. Even if it's paid for from the public purse.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:40pm

      Re: grand juries

      Theoretically yes, but given the prosecutor is the only side allowed to present evidence before a grand jury(unlike a real court case, grand juries are not adversarial, only one side is allowed to be present), as a check against abuse by the government and prosecution, they fail pretty completely.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 10:37am

        Re: Re: grand juries

        ... given the prosecutor is the only side allowed to present evidence before a grand jury...
        See New York CPL § 190.50, headed “Grand jury; who may call witnesses; defendant as witness.”

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  • identicon
    RD, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:38pm

    But you know who the grand jury DID indict?

    But you know who the grand jury DID indict? You guessed it:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/03/ramsey-orta-indictment-eric-garner_n_6264746.html

    So, make SURE to indict a citizen for a minor weapons violation but ABSOLVE a cop of MURDERING a guy for being a capitalist trying to earn a buck so he can eat.

    Officially, now, I proclaim FUCK THE POLICE, and all authority. They don't DESERVE the power they are given. I don't CARE anymore, I don't CARE if you claim there are "good cops" out there - they are ALL - every last one - part of a corrupt system that now is *targeting* the very populace they are SUPPOSED to be protecting.

    Fuck. Them. All. Straight. To. Hell.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:46pm

      Re: But you know who the grand jury DID indict?

      Well of course, murdering someone on camera? As long as you're a cop, you're gold, because it's always 'self-defense' or 'justified' when a cop kills someone.

      Being the one who videotaped a cop murdering someone? Oh you are screwed, and the full weight of the 'justice' system will be brought down on you for daring to make the cops look bad.

      (To be clear, the one who was indicted doesn't exactly seem like an up-and-up citizen, but the fact that he was indicted, while the cop wasn't, shows a glaring double-standard at work)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 4:46pm

    Why even bother with the grand jury when everyone knows the outcome beforehand, it is a waste of time and money. The circus act does not vindicate anyone, it simply shows a prosecutors office that refuses to do their job.

    A solution might be to eliminate their sovereign immunity, not only could this make them at least a bit accountable for their actions but it would also relieve the tax payers as they would not have to completely shoulder the burden of the inevitable civil suits.

    Another thing that should happen is fire the bad cops and do not rehire.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:00pm

      Re:

      Because political theater is DAMN EFFECTIVE in shutting down any arguments the common citizenry have.

      The primary and immediate purpose is for an official to say "We Put on the Political Theater Show" (regardless of truth or justice) for your benefit, now shut the absolute fuck up before we take you down too!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:14am

        Re: Re:

        And this is why their "If you see something, say something" will not work the way they would like it to. People will not call for police because they know what will result.

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    • identicon
      Wes, 8 Dec 2014 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      Sovereign immunity doesn't exist in cases of excessive force ... the 14th Amendment abrogated the states' immunity from suit for unconstitutional acts

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:02pm

    I wasn't surprised at the Ferguson ruling. From the one witnesses testimony I did believe the young man continued charging towards the police officer after being shot more than one time, must have been a hell of an adrenaline rush for both of them. This grand juries ruling is inexcusable from the evidence I have seen. Like stated above, negligent homicide would have been a fair charge.

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  • identicon
    bobby b, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:17pm

    "Homicide" simply means death at the hands of another.

    There is no connotation of "wrongful", or "illegal", or "criminal". Homicide can be accidental, or defensive, or wrongful, or planned, or . . . whatever.

    That's just in reaction to your title. It would take pages to address the instances in which you display ignorance of the law in this post.

    Stick to tech posts, where you push the idea that changing technology means that the discovery of key-making machines means you can steal my car with moral and legal impunity. It's just as ignorant of an outlook, but it's . . . narrower.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:27pm

      Re:

      Death at the hands of another is the exact kind of thing you go to trial over to determine if it was justified or not. By deciding to not even indict, they are saying that this man did not commit a homicide.

      There's video evidence and the coroners report stating that a homicide occured however.

      So now were in a situation, a man didnt commit a homicide even though the homicide occured. A homicide with no other party who committed a homicide.

      The article even states he may have been found not guilty at an actual trial, but guess what, we didn't even get that!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:47pm

      Re:

      It would also take pages to explain to you that you are unable to see any view but your own. Change the specifics in the case and this is a British soldier killing a stupid colonist who refused to bow down to their superiority. Get off your high horse and go watch what is really happening in New York every single night. When the prosecutor treats a grand jury case differently just because the accused is a cop, it is a broken system only designed to convict the serfs, not the masters or their hired men.

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      • identicon
        bobby b, 6 Dec 2014 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re:

        " . . . you are unable to see any view but your own. "

        Pot. Kettle.

        I think this killing stinks. I think cops are completely out of control. I think we need to completely re-do our system of "justice."

        But I don't blame the cops. I blame the people who hire the cops and send them out, armed and in large gangs, to enforce tens of thousands of liberty-choking laws and regs and rules.

        We gave our cops guns and leather jackets and legal impunity to go out and kill people who do horrible things like sell loosies on the street.

        We tell the cops that they cannot back down. If someone violates any of our countless little rules and controls, then we ultimately tell the cops to use whatever force they have to stop the behavior and bring the miscreant in.

        All of this shiite about "homicide" and how the cops are brutal are just ways of not talking about how WE caused this.

        So, pass a few more laws, why dontcha? You DO understand that every law you pass has to be backed up by force?

        Well, here's your force, working just as you designed.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          We? Speak for yourself.

          I pass gas, but not laws - so don't wag your finger at me.

          I suppose you are attempting the old slight of hand where voters are responsible for all the corruption in politics because they voted for corrupt politicians. Well, that falls apart with very little scrutiny. In fact it is bullshit perpetrated by those corrupt people you want to make everyone else responsible for.

          So, anyways - you can take your accusations and go pound them.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 7:12pm

      Re:

      Bringing up a point that the site has never advocated proves you're here just to troll.

      When a cop shoots you, be it on purpose or accidental, few will shed tears.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re:

        Did you read the article? It explicitly calls out the supposed conundrum of a homicide without a perpetrator. But that supposed conundrum is a fiction based on Mr. Cushing's faulty understanding of what "homicide" means in a medical context.

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        • icon
          ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 8:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Did you read the article?

          Did you bother to comprehend what you cited earlier?

          It explicitly calls out the supposed conundrum of a homicide without a perpetrator.

          Well, let's read and understand what you quoted earlier:

          Homicide occurs when death results from a volitional act committed by another person to cause fear, harm, or death


          [You cite this from: A Guide for Manner of Death Classification, 1st Ed., from the National Association of Medical Examiners ... I'm not going to bother to verify it; I'll just assume it's correct]

          Pay attention to this part: "... committed by another person ..." That requires a "perpetrator" whether criminal or not.

          The conundrum is that there was an act "committed by another person" but, according to the grand jury, there is no "other person."

          You're the one with the "faulty understanding." You don't even understand your own citations.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 10:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You cite this from: A Guide for Manner of Death Classification, 1st Ed., from the National Association of Medical Examiners ... I'm not going to bother to verify it; I'll just assume it's correct

            Courtesy of The National Organization of Medical Examiners website, here's a current resource for:       Hanzlick R, Hunsaker JH III, Davis GJ. A guide for manner of death classifi­cation. St. Louis, Missouri: National Association of Medical Examiners. 2002.

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            • icon
              ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 6:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Isn't that special? You can make a complete citation.

              Too bad you can't understand that when it defines a homicide as a "volitional act committed by another person" that requires there must be (to use your word) a "perpetrator."

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 5:53pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, there was a homicide (as that term is used by the medical examiner), and pantaleo was the perpetrator. No, there was not a homicide (as that term is defined by the NY Penal Code).

            Thus, there is no homicide without a perpetrator. It's not actually that hard to understand.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:18am

      Re:

      Yes, because only lawyers are allowed to express their opinion about anything related to the law, law enforcement, judicial system or anything else you do not agree with - amirite?

      btw, you are a lawyer - right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE TECHDIRT YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY JUST A TROLL LALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:54pm

    I can't believe you're arguing legal semantics

    A cop brutally killed an unarmed citizen in broad daylight and you're debating the fine points of the legal definition of "homicide"?

    What the FUCK is wrong with you?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:22am

      Re: I can't believe you're arguing legal semantics

      So...it's wrong to criticize obvious mistakes in an article because somebody died? This isn't about the justification or lack thereof for Garner's death; this is about Mr. Cushing's poor article. Or is it off limits to criticize any article regarding Garner's death?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re: I can't believe you're arguing legal semantics

        Typical childish response to things said child does not like, is to attack those things rather than simply point out how said item could be made better.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 5:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: I can't believe you're arguing legal semantics

          The article would be better had it not been written. Alternatively, the entire thesis could have been changed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:56pm

    "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by....

    The Daily News

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  • icon
    Dismembered3po (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 5:58pm

    This was me.

    I thouhng I was logged in


    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2014 @ 5:56pm

    "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by....

    The Daily News

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 6:01pm

    a by-product of America's overseas wars?

    It's quite possible that the rash of police brutality killings in recent years is a direct by-product the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq. Many American police forces have a high percentage of former soldiers and reservists who served in these wars and subsequent occupations, and brought back with them many of the brutal tactics and hostile attitudes that were incubated there.

    A common complaint is that these former soldiers were never properly "deprogrammed" and many still harbor the same "us vs. them"/"kill or be killed" mentality that the U.S. military was widely condemned for. And then once back in the States, spreading that attitude to their fellow police officers in the force, further accelerating the transformation of so-called "peace officers" into domestic soldiers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/02/AR2005080201941_pf.html

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 8:03pm

      Re: a by-product of America's overseas wars?

      Someone needs to leak exactly how police are being trained to deal with the public

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:17pm

        Re: Re: a by-product of America's overseas wars?

        Someone needs to leak exactly how police are being trained to engage the enemy.

        FTFY

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:52am

      Re: a by-product of America's overseas wars?

      "the rash of police brutality killings in recent years"

      ... has been happening since forever, it simply was not reported upon in the past. It seems to a recent trend due to the availability of recording devices and communication mediums. "The News" is no longer a thing that is controlled by the megalomaniacs of the world ... and they do not like this one bit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dismembered3po (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 6:11pm

    15 cops, none of whom ever watch crime drama

    So wait.

    There are what, a dozen (Fifteen?) cops standing around watching one cop try to rouse a guy who was just:

    Put in a choke hold until he passed out
    Had a grown-ass man pin his chest and neck to the ground for good measure
    Had been lying utterly motionless for several minutes

    And not even one of them thinks, "you know, maybe we should... I don't know... CHECK HIS PULSE JUST TO SEE?"


    I would do that and I'm just a guy who watches a ton of Law & Order.

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  • icon
    ambrellite (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 6:40pm

    Something I don't understand

    I get that prosecutors work closely with police, but shielding them to this extent seems beyond a close working relationship. Are prosecutors actually afraid that other, non-prosecuted officers will withhold evidence and refuse to cooperate with investigations? That's their job, no?

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:29am

      Re: Something I don't understand

      Are prosecutors actually afraid that other, non-prosecuted officers will withhold evidence and refuse to cooperate with investigations?

      I think they just see themselves as being on the same side. It's difficult for them to then switch to prosecuting someone they feel like they're supposed to be helping. I'm not trying to excuse it, but prosecutors are subject to human failings just like anyone else, and the whole system needs to change in order to fix this problem.

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  • icon
    Arioch (profile), 4 Dec 2014 @ 6:41pm

    Outrage

    To see an unresisting man being strangled to death for the heinous crime of selling unlicensed cigarettes is bad enough, but for a company to take down the video on "copyright" grounds when it is clear that they cannot possibly have any rights at all here and are seeking only to "monetize" the sheer misery of this incident is outrageous.
    A word to Daily whatever.. the genie is out of the bottle, you cannot stop it.
    The video is available on line whether you like it or not

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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Dec 2014 @ 7:27pm

    Why Does The US Have Grand Juries?

    To my knowledge, no other country has, or needs, them.

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    • identicon
      David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 2:56am

      Re: Why Does The US Have Grand Juries?

      The US needs Grand Juries because once an indictment is in, you are either paying a year of your life (that's if you accept the plea deal, otherwise it's 20 years) or $100000 minimum even if you are innocent.

      So the Grand Jury is the last step before you are definitely going to pay either a hefty amount of money or life time.

      To make the US court system (which is the laughing stock of the world) lead to sane results, you need to have "loser pays" rules which obviously have to come with standard rates for lawyers, and you need to get rid of the stupid "plea deal" abrogation of the right to a jury trial. In order to let that make sense, prosecutors must not be rewarded primarily on a base of convictions but rather on the actual work they put in.

      Now standard rates for lawyers mean that there is no particular financial point to being a star trial lawyer any more, so guess who'll lobby against that.

      Then the problem with the jury trials in the US is that a jury is required to be clueless, again making those lawyers who are apt at being convincing a valuable commodity.

      Basically, you have to drain the justice system of monetary incentives and randomizing elements. Once you can expect the courts to serve justice without having to have the players (rather than the state) grease the wheels, Grand Juries no longer serve a purpose.

      But in the current money-run justice business, someone has to determine when you are due for a bleeding.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 12:20pm

      Re: Why Does The US Have Grand Juries?

      Why Does The US Have Grand Juries?

      See pp.2-3 of the New York Grand Juror's Handbook.
      WHY WE HAVE GRAND JURIES

      The use of trial juries (also called petit juries) and grand juries goes back approximately 800 years. Beginning around 1215 A.D., both types of juries were used in England. . . .

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 8:02pm

    reminds me of the case of Thomas Kelly where it was ruled his death was a coincidence that just happened to occur while he was being beaten to death by several cops.

    Once people start shooting back, people will get the message, since apathy and hoping that police will stop murdering and brutalizing people on their own seems to be going nowhere

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    • identicon
      David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:03am

      Re:

      Well, he had a preexisting medical condition and the police could not expect that.

      Of course, that kind of reasoning implies that the police have the right or duty to torture people as long as they can do so without killing all of them.

      If only a minority of the victims actually die (those whose preexisting conditions are solely responsible for them not surviving a modern life in a police controlled environment), police is apparently operating as intended.

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  • identicon
    FM Hilton, 4 Dec 2014 @ 8:12pm

    Homicides and race

    As long as most grand juries are comprised of mostly white people who don't give a shit as long as they're not inconvenienced by police brutality, there will be cops murdering blacks.

    Betcha that the grand jury in NY was 90% white (or more), and upstanding citizens, all of whom have never encountered a bad cop on a bad day.

    That and the Supreme Court's rulings that give cops a free 'get out of jail' card will always save their asses.

    Yeah-just keep out of their way, unless you happen to be in their way on that given bad day.

    Then you'll be wondering what ever happened to our supposed justice system. Call it "Just Us" and you have it right.

    Cause it's not for you or I, and the cops know it.

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  • identicon
    Don Cox, 4 Dec 2014 @ 9:28pm

    "Filmed"

    This incident, and most others, were most likely not "filmed" in the traditional sense. They may have been "recorded" or maybe even "taped" or a "movie made" but unless it is recorded on an Insta-Matic or Polaroid, almost certainly not "filmed!" I hate the corruption of the "filmed" term to include any recording medium. My turn to vent.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 9:53pm

    Grand Jury is a tool of the prosecutor

    A prosecutor can get a ham sandwich indicted if they so choose. Of course the alternative must also be true- No indictment if the prosecutor doesn't want one. These prosecutors used the grand jury as cover for not trying a policeman in the police force they work with on a regular basis.

    They threw the fight and hope to blame lands on the grand jury. These prosecutors are just throwing the case so they don't need to deal with the blow back. The good news is they could call another Grand Jury and try again since no charges were levied.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Dec 2014 @ 10:29pm

    We have video of the homicide showing an unarmed man with his hands up being killed. At no point did any of the officers attempt to resuscitate the victim back to life. Even the medical response team didn't attempt to resuscitate him.

    We are a nation of lawless disorder. How am I supposed to have respect for the law, when I see homicides being committed right before my very eyes and the perpetrator walks away free so he can kill again?

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  • identicon
    David, 4 Dec 2014 @ 10:55pm

    Perfectly logical

    We all know that a Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich. But you realize that ham is cured which makes it a non-rotten piece of a pig's behind no longer in imminent need of protection from the effects of being brought in the open.

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:08am

    The biggest problem is most people's complete apathy or acceptance of the status quo.

    When discussing these incidents with two different friends, their reactions were "What can you do? That's the way things are. Just keep your head down and don't make trouble."

    A third friend believes that the police/courts can do no wrong. Only maybe .00000000000001% of cops ever lie and they are swiftly dealt with. The rest are completely honest people who never do anything wrong. All these cases of the cops shooting people are totally the victims' faults. They should have done what the police told them, they shouldn't have been holding BB guns, they shouldn't have disagreed with the cops, etc. The cops are always right and nobody should ever argue with them, since they're just here to protect us.

    When pointing out all the evidence to the contrary in the Michael Brown case, his response is "The jury found him innocent." He doesn't appear to understand the difference between a grand jury and a trial by jury. Any attempt to explain it to him, or to point out how the entire thing was rigged in Darren Wilson's favor just results in him repeating "The jury found him innocent!" in ever increasing volume until you stop talking.

    Even when his own niece was sent to prison for a year for something that wasn't her fault, the system wasn't to blame, it was all because she had a public defender. See, the D.A. who decided to prosecute wasn't the problem, the prosecutor who pressured her to take a plea bargain wasn't the problem, it's all because she had a public defender. If she'd had a real lawyer, her experience would have been all kittens and rainbows. He would simply have explained that it was just a misunderstanding, the wise, completely fair prosecutor would have nodded his head knowingly and immediately dropped the charges and she would have been home in time for lunch.

    Sometimes it's like talking to a brick wall.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:37am

    But using this outcome to declare police body cameras useless accomplishes nothing. We've already seen what happens without them. The alternative is to allow things to proceed as they have so far, and no one's happy with the status quo.
    I'm glad someone finally said this. Since yesterday, there's been a bizarre backlash against body-cams: a lot of people seem to have been the victims of a false dichotomy, claiming that since visual recordings aren't a panacea then they aren't useful at all. Some of the people falling into this trap should really know better (I'm looking at you, Trevor Timm).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:46am

      Re:

      Timm does admit that a citizen's recording of Garner being killed is useful, but still dismisses body cameras on the police themselves:
      The only people who actually think body-cams are a viable solution are the people defending the killings to begin with.
      Only people who think the police who keep murdering people are justified want body-cams? At best, a mixed message.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      a lot of people seem to have been the victims of a false dichotomy, claiming that since visual recordings aren't a panacea then they aren't useful at all.

      That's more of a perfect solution fallacy than false dichotomy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:49am

    But guys, Pantaleo, like Mike Brown, was unarmed, therefore it's literally impossible for him to have harmed anyone. It's just a good thing Eric Garner didn't have a gun, or he might have shot Pantaleo, who was half his size and clearly not a threat to anyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

    We've been dealing with it for the last 50 or so years. This isn't the sort of thing that gets fixed quickly. Rather it's the sort of thing that changes over generations once you get the appropriate social pressures going.

    Far longer than 50 years. Try before the Civil War, and you have the problem. Remember, we used to approve of owning people for economic reasons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 5 Dec 2014 @ 6:15am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

      Remember, we used to approve of owning people for economic reasons.

      Well, Congress members are quite more expensive than cotton pickers, but the principle still holds and provides reasonable returns of investment because the average Congress member can pick a lot more pockets than the average farm hand can pick cotton balls.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Self-fulfilling prophecy

        "Well, Congress members are quite more expensive than cotton pickers"

        From what I hear, congress members are quite a bit less expensive. I forget where I heard it, but someone once said that the real shame of how corruption works in the US isn't that congresspeople can be bought, it's that they can be bought so cheaply.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Christopher (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:23am

    Don't resist arrest, don't die.

    Given a choice between the cop coming home, and the fat turd resisting arrest, I pick the cop every time. Comply, and nothing bad happens. Resist, and get thrown down and arrested. Oh, you were asthmatic? Then I guess resisting arrest was a bad decision on your part Eric.

    It was death, it was a homicide, it was an accident, and too bad. I'd rather have people obey the law.

    -C

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:22am

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      Hey, if you are selling cigarettes without a license in NYC, you had better be prepared for the inevitable choke hold death grip performed by no other than Judge Dredd because that sort of thing will not be tolerated at all. Now, about those bankers who destroyed the world economy for a quick buck, let's not even investigate them - ok?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:08am

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      I'd rather have people obey the law.

      I'd rather have cops that act within the law they are tasked to defend.
      Homicide indeed - too bad the piece of shit perpetrator got off scot-free and is walking the streets.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:36am

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      Given a choice between the cop coming home, and the fat turd resisting arrest ...

      You do realize you're defending an incompetent cop, one who doesn't even know how to apply a choke hold without killing the subject? What an altogether charming individual you are. :-P
      I'd rather have people obey the law.

      I don't think the law on selling untaxed tobacco cigarettes says anything about capital punishment. What part of serve and protect don't you understand?

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.


        You do realize you're defending an incompetent cop, one who doesn't even know how to apply a choke hold without killing the subject?


        I think you're applying the wrong criticism. He should be inept at applying choke holds, because he shouldn't have any practice doing it, because it's against NYPD policy. The problem is not just that he did it wrong, it's that he did it at all.

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      • identicon
        Just Another Anonymous Troll, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

        Poe's Law claims another victim. The poster seems to have forgotten his /sarc.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 1:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

          None of that was sarcasm, as far as I can tell, he's one of those cops who you do not want to run into, so of course he will always take the side of the police, even when they murder someone.

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      • icon
        PenguinBrat (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 6:30pm

        Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

        I think this is one of the main problems...

        "What part of serve and protect don't you understand?"

        When was the last time that you saw ANY police vehicle with those words used as their 'mantra' - instead of the 911 EMERGENCY plastered along the side?

        IMO, the police have silently changed their mantra (to GOD knows what) while the public still assumes its the 'serve and protect'.

        As a member of the 'public' I dont have to call on the police all that often, all though I will say that when I have done so, I was the one that was put under extreme suspicion as opposed to the 'bad guy'.

        I've got a cousin who has been a 911 operator for years now (10+) and from talking to her, its like they are the ones who will serve and protect you, while the police are the 'grunts' NOTHING more.

        The 'to serve and protect' mantra of the police, across the country has gone out the window a while ago... Its just that the public at large still thinks (hopes/wishes?) its in effect.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:28pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

          When was the last time that you saw ANY police vehicle with those words used as their 'mantra' - instead of the 911 EMERGENCY plastered along the side?

          In the town where I grew up they changed the motto from "To Serve and Protect" to "Pride and Professionalism". I don't know of anyone who saw it as an improvement.

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    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 8:42am

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      Resist, and get thrown down and arrested. Oh, you were asthmatic? Then I guess resisting arrest was a bad decision on your part Eric.


      Is it just me or does this argument sound familiar to this one: "It was her fault I raped her because she was wearing that mini-skirt. I guess dressing like that was a bad decision on her part."?

      Someone else's bad decisions do not justify the officer's bad decisions.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:13am

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      you mean the cop who used an illegal choke hold?

      whats the difference between a cop and a crook

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

        Actually, this might've worked out by induction. The cop used an illegal choke hold... which means the next cop in line should've choked the first cop to death.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:43pm

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      Once again, I'm left hoping that you aren't a cop anywhere near where I am. Your attitude is exactly the one that makes people dislike and distrust cops.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 1:08pm

        Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

        Fear's just as good as respect to someone who either can't tell the difference, doesn't care about the difference, or prefers the former over the latter as easier and more satisfying a response.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

          Fear's just as good as respect to someone who either can't tell the difference, doesn't care about the difference, or prefers the former over the latter as easier and more satisfying a response.

          Fear is much easier to instill than respect, so it could be a matter of just going for whatever one is capable of obtaining.

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          • icon
            tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

            Fear is much easier to instill than respect ...

            It's much quicker too. You don't even need training to do it.

            On the other hand, the police do want us to respect them, and now it's going to take a lot of time and effort on their part for that to happen as things are going. They don't appear to be trained in, nor value, that skill anymore.

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    • identicon
      Zonker, 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:13pm

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      On the contrary, the Supreme Court itself has ruled that we do have the right to resist an unlawful arrest, even if it results in the death of the offending officer:

      http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/defunlaw.htm

      If the cop wants to be able to come home at the end of the day, they should probably avoid unlawful arrests, defective warrants, failure to obtain a warrant, or otherwise failing to follow the law themselves.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:28pm

        Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

        Apropos of my comment above regarding people writing about things they don't understand.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plummer_v._State#Internet_meme

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 4:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

            No higher calling.

            But in seriousness, it is the kind of misinformation that could have serious negative consequences if someone acted on it, believing it to be true.

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        • identicon
          Zonker, 8 Dec 2014 @ 1:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

          As typical for many wikipedia articles, the section you referenced has had many back and forth edits in the past year, the most recent was to revert a more complete summary of the issue back to a simple accusation of fabrication by oversimplifying the argument. Let's rather take a look at actual court opinions on the matter: Wilson v. State (Ind. Ct. App. 2006)
          The trial court erroneously believed that the rule stated in Plummer has been set aside. The trial court’s allusion to the right to challenge an improper arrest in a civil court shows that the court equated the rule stated in Plummer with the very different rule discussed in Fields v. State, 178 Ind. App. 350, 382 N.E.2d 972 (1978). In Fields, the issue before the court was whether any amount of force should be used by one unlawfully but peaceably arrested. Id. at 976. The court stated that the common law rule allowing a person to resist an unlawful but peaceful arrest is outmoded because it tends to escalate violence. Id. at 975. The court further stated that “[a] citizen, today, can seek his remedy for a policeman’s unwarranted and illegal intrusion into the citizen’s private affairs by bringing a civil action in the courts against the police officers and the governmental unit which the officer represents.” Id. Therefore, the court held that “although [Field’s] initial arrest was unlawful, he was not entitled to forcefully resist [the arresting officer’s] attempt to apprehend him.” Id. at 975. The court specifically noted that “this appeal does not address issues that arise when an arrestee apprehends that the arresting officer is using excessive force and that unless the arrestee defends himself, he is likely to suffer great bodily harm or death.” Id.

          In Wise v. State, 401 N.E.2d 65, 68 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980), this court noted that Fields did not address the common law rule allowing a person to use force in resisting excessive force by an arresting officer. We further noted that other jurisdictions have recognized the general rule that an arrestee may use reasonable force “to defend himself against the use of greater force by the arrester than is required to effect the arrest.” Id. (citing Anno.: 44 A.L.R.3d 1078 (1972)). We discussed Heichelbech v. State, 258 Ind. 334, 281 N.E.2d 102 (1972) and Birtsas v. State, 156 Ind. App. 587, 297 N.E.2d 864 (1973), and concluded that “[w]hile neither Heichelbech nor Birtsas explicitly states so, they clearly imply that Indiana adheres to the general rule allowing an arrestee to resist the arrester’s use of excessive force by the use of reasonable force to protect himself against great bodily harm or death.” Id.

          In a subsequent case, this court noted that “the rule that a citizen may not resist a peaceful, though illegal, arrest was not ‘intended as a blanket prohibition so as to criminalize any conduct evincing resistance where the means used to effect an arrest is unlawful.’” Shoultz v. State, 735 N.E.2d 818, 823 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000) (citing Casselman v. State, 472 N.E.2d 1310, 1315 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989)). We concluded that a citizen has the right to resist an officer that has used unconstitutionally excessive force in effecting an arrest, but the force used to resist the officer's excessive force may not be disproportionate to the situation.

          The Wise and Shoultz cases were correct in their interpretation of the case law. There has been no abrogation of the common law rule allowing an arrestee to resist arrest to avoid personal injury or death when the arresting officers engage in excessive force.
          Once the officer started using illegal and excessive force (a chokehold that even violates police policy) in the apprehension of Eric Garner, he was entitled to defend himself with proportionate force. In this case, that would have been lethal force. So yes, while you could not simply resist an arrest because you don't believe you have done anything wrong or have been wrongly accused, you can resist an assault on your person involving excessive force like a chokehold, beating, guns drawn on you while you are clearly unarmed, etc. An arrest performed illegally: an illegal arrest.

          Eric Garner was accused by an officer of selling individual cigarettes unlicensed and without paying tax (on a product he had already, presumably, legally purchased and paid tax on). An offense punishable by paying a fine, not prison time. The officer then assaulted Garner. As Garner resisted the assault, the officer applied a chokehold: lethal force. This was in every sense not a peaceful arrest, but an illegal arrest, and thus Garner had the right to resist.

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          • icon
            tqk (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 1:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

            I look forward to the day that everyone in public has a grenade in their pocket, and upon first sight of a cop, pulls the pin. They'd then be in possession of a deadman's switch for as long as they hold down the lever/handle.

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            • icon
              tqk (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 6:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

              You do understand I'm thinking theoreticaly, I hope, as in the logical extreme. I'm not hoping for that day.

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          • identicon
            Zonker, 8 Dec 2014 @ 3:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

            I think I see the confusion in terminology used, so let me clarify. The courts appear to have said that an arrest that should not have occurred because no laws were broken or you were innocent, sometimes phrased as "improper" and other times as "illegal" or "unlawful", does not by itself allow you to resist that arrest as you can contest that in court.

            However, an arrest in which exceeds the legal standard of necessary force, i.e. not conducted in a legal manner at least regarding the level of force used, can be resisted as it presents a threat to the person which cannot be remedied in the courts (e.g. you died in a chokehold).

            In summary, I agree that you cannot resist an arrest just because you believe the officer has no legal grounds to arrest you. However, if an officer commits an assault or trespass onto your person not appropriate to the situation (which I see as an unlawful/illegal procedure), you may resist that in self defense. I believe the Garner case is an example of the later.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 8 Dec 2014 @ 3:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

              However, if an officer commits an assault or trespass onto your person not appropriate to the situation (which I see as an unlawful/illegal procedure), you may resist that in self defense.

              Of course in practice that is just more likely to get you killed.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 5:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

              Yes, exactly.

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    • icon
      ottermaton (profile), 6 Dec 2014 @ 8:49am

      Re: Don't resist arrest, don't die.

      Don't resist arrest, don't die

      The motto of oppressors worldwide!

      Allow me to quote you:
      Make no mistake, police are there to ensure societal compliance.

      COMPLY!! COMPLY!! YOU WILL OBEY!!! YOU WILL OBEY!!!

      Thank goodness there were people around a couple of hundred years ago that actually had the will to resist our oppressors. Too bad there is a new generation of redcoats exemplified by people like you.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 5:27am

    Ferguson is not a civil rights case, NY is a civil rights case

    IMHO, the Ferguson case is not a case to hang a civil rights violation on. I tend to believe that anyone who beats a cop in the face and makes a play for his gun is going to get shot.

    Now the NY case just makes me sick. Is selling loosies really worth killing a man over? You can clearly see from the video that he did not fight back. He may have struggled once he was being choked, but 100% of the people would struggle for air while being choked. Those cops should be locked up with the general prison population to get their true reward.

    But the reason behind all of these types of abuses is the cops goal today is to show an overwhelming display of force to put the fear of God into the criminal. Whether they sell loose cigarettes, rob stores or even just for rolling car odomoters back.

    About that last case, just recently in Atlanta a use car dealer was busted for rolling car odometers back. The cops showed up in swat outfits, many of them, and stormed the dealer. Yep, you read that right. The cops showed up ready for a gun battle over a petty crime.

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    • icon
      JWW (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 1:46pm

      Re: Ferguson is not a civil rights case, NY is a civil rights case

      As a libertarian, I strongly believe that selling property that you have previously legally purchased should never be a crime. Those laws are just protection for established businesses.

      Killing someone over that kind of law is an abject horror.

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      • icon
        tqk (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:13pm

        Re: Re: Ferguson is not a civil rights case, NY is a civil rights case

        Those laws are just protection for established businesses.

        It's worse than that. The crime is for not paying the tobacco tax.

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  • identicon
    Jasmine Charter, 5 Dec 2014 @ 6:41am

    Stop the lax reporting

    How about trying to report the ACTUAL facts and not cherry picking the facts to support your point of view.

    Michael Brown's INITIAL issue was NOT so petty crime - robbery and assault but still, not terrible in the scope of other crimes.

    Michael Brown ESCALATED that to aggravated assault, assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest when Michael Brown ATTACKED the police officer INSIDE HIS CAR and tried to take his weapon. At that point, white,black,yellow,purple or whatever, you're in the big leagues. Michael Brown CHARGED Wilson... so, another assault. Wilson already had his weapon drawn and fired several shots to stop or slow Brown before firing the fatal shot.

    Everyone mentions Michael Brown being unarmed... but let's face it, a 6' 5" guy weighing almost 300 lbs can inflict quite a bit of harm... especially once he gets on top of you - which is what would have happened if he had actually tackled Wilson.

    And lest we forget... there WAS an accomplice with Brown, so in essence the officer was facing an attack from two potential thugs. He did what he was trained to do.

    Let's face facts... Brown was a thug and bully who robbed some poor guy and then attacked a police officer and tried to take his gun. He was shot in the commissions of numerous felonies - assault, aggravated assault, assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, etc. He WASN'T shot for robbing a convenience store.

    Brownis not a saint. And the officer shouldn't be charged with protecting his own life from a thug/bully who is too stupid or high to know not to attack an officer and charge an armed cop with a gun drawn.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 7:01am

      Re: Stop the lax reporting

      So, why didn't the police officer pull out his tazer and give him 1 million volts at 0.05 amps? That would be the sensible thing to do. Oh...don't tell me American police training doesn't teach a police officer how to safely take down an adversary.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 9:24am

      Re: Stop the lax reporting

      First, this article was not about Brown.

      Second, typing LIKE THIS makes you seem like an INSANE person regardless if the VALIDITY of your ARGUMENTS. Just TRUST ME.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AnonyBabs, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:33am

      Re: Stop the lax reporting

      ACTUAL facts? You were there? Saw it all go down, did you? Therefore know the actual facts? Bullshit. No, Brown was likely not a saint. Whether he was or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is he was shot for the terrible crime of walking in the middle of the street. What the officer was probably NOT trained to do was to instigate a fatal incident. Or maybe he was. That's the issue.

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    • identicon
      broken pencil, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:59am

      Re: Stop the lax reporting

      What happen tour your sacrosanct notion of "innocent until proven guilty"? How come you who are so factual accept certain "arguments" (because they are hearsay at best until properly vetted through evidences and proofs) to make the case as if Brown is guilty?

      I do accept the notion that Brown is not a saint. But in the eyes of the law he is still innocent until proven guilty. His guilt has not been proven. Only thing you have successfully done is to line up the cherry picked witness . accounts You say, "Let's face fact..." Well you are only really facing facts from your particular side.

      Learn to see your blind spot before telling others to "face facts..."

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 5 Dec 2014 @ 12:46pm

      Re: Stop the lax reporting

      "Brown is not a saint."

      You do realize that nobody thinks he is, right? His sanctity is not terribly relevant to the issue.

      But let me admit my bias: I have no opinion over Brown specifically. I am fully aware that it will never be possible for me (or anyone else) to know what actually happened with him, so cannot form anything like a reasonable opinion. The reason why it's impossible to know, by the way, is because of how the cops handled the whole thing.

      My problem is with how the cops behaved with public at large.

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      • icon
        JP Jones (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 1:19pm

        Re: Re: Stop the lax reporting

        My problem is with how the cops behaved with public at large.

        This, 100x. Based on what I've read I'm fairly certain that the shooting primarily due to Brown's actions. I'm not sure there should not have been an indictment but I personally believe (again, based on what I've read) that Officer Wilson did not murder Brown.

        That being said, the response afterwards from the police department, between arresting journalists and gassing crowds, was inappropriate and unreasonable. I also believe it had the opposite effect intended; it probably caused more violence than if they'd allowed the initial protests with minimal force.

        The problem is there's such a polarizing effects to these events. It seems like you have to be on one "side" or the other. If you think Brown's shooting was justified, you must be on the side of the cops and think Garner was justified too. Yet I personally believe Brown's shooting was justified...but I don't think the same thing about Garner, and I 100% think there should have been an indictment in his case (not certain on Brown). And I'm completely against the (in my opinion) excessive riot control and actions against the press in Ferguson, especially as that probably created more confusion about the whole situation.

        I wish we could break them apart, because I think a lot of rational people are getting hung up over the facts of Brown's death (possibly including Techdirt authors) compared to the string of other (in my opinion) actual abuses that happened at the same time.

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    • identicon
      DMNTD, 6 Dec 2014 @ 5:26am

      Re: Stop the lax reporting

      You parrot big media in hopes that any common sense won't make it to the table and it's boring. It's funny how full, even partial video always goes against the cops. Micheal Brown is funny enough void of this common evidence, I wonder why? The cop is caught lying through most of his report (as usual) and really does not matter. Someone died while he was supposed to be bringing people into public courts and he completely failed at his job in every way. He's a coward costume wearing jackass like the rest of the lot.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:32am

    If you drive someone to a crime scene and they commit a crime and they murder someone in the process (ie: rob a liquor store) the law considers the driver an accessory to the murder. Likewise if you're a police officer and you know there is corruption and you don't publicly report it you should be considered an accessory to the corruption.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 10:32am

      Re:

      That the law does not considered cops that cover up corruption an accessory but it considers someone that drives the getaway vehicle an accessory is a double standard.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 11:06am

    While in the case of Ferguson I more or less side with Wilson (though the police in general handled the situation and aftermath pretty bad. Was the police called to the scene and if so why did only one officer show up? Either the Wikipedia article is not very clear on this or I didn't really read it thoroughly enough).

    In this case I more or less side with Garner. The guy wasn't hurting anyone, he may have been resisting but he was by no means fighting back, hurting anyone, or attempting to hurt anyone and for the police to restrain Garner with a choke hold far after he was restrained and far longer than necessary (if a choke hold was even necessary in the first place) was excessive.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2014 @ 3:51pm

    No justice. No respect for the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonimus, 6 Dec 2014 @ 5:09pm

    The videos in this article

    Your first video got censored by a copyright claim and your second video shows some very confused paramedics.

    PS. Black cop got indited for getting shot by white cops: http://bemedia.weebly.com/bellas-corner/off-duty-black-officer-shot-28xs-by-white-officers-then-sent enced-to-40-years-for-self-defense

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    • icon
      JP Jones (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 2:42pm

      Re: The videos in this article

      The irony of the video of police brutality being taken down by a news outlet is hilarious. Isn't the news supposed to be about informing the public?

      Copyright isn't about censorship, eh? I give you Exhibit A: a cell phone camera video being taken down by someone who doesn't have any copyright over the video, therefore hiding important public information over an ongoing controversy regarding the police engaged in potentially illegal behavior.

      Yet it's filesharers that are the criminals. I thought it couldn't get any better after Amazon removed people's copies of 1984 from people's Kindle readers. How silly of me!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2014 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re: The videos in this article

        "The News" never was about informing the public.
        It has and always will be about propaganda.

        Independent sources, when corroborated, are much more real and authentic although still subject to the human trait of bias. This is difficult to avoid, obviously. Those that claim to be "Fair and Balanced" are most likely not.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2014 @ 7:16pm

    The Grand Jury system is much more than and indictment mill.
    Those who make such comments;
    1) Are Willfully Lying.

    2) Have absolutely no idea why we have the Grand Jury System.

    3) Know why we have the Grand Jury System but are willfully lying.

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  • identicon
    Titanium Dragon, 7 Dec 2014 @ 1:28am

    Lack of comprehension of homicide

    The person who wrote this article clearly doesn't understand what "homicide" means. Homicide isn't a crime; justifiable homicide is a homicide where someone is killed without criminal wrongdoing.

    The reality is that you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the officer was behaving in an unjustified manner when he put a large man who was resisting arrest into a headlock in order to convict him of willful manslaughter. What happened isn't in question; the question is whether or not a reasonable person would consider his actions to be reasonable given the circumstances. That's a pretty tough bridge to cross; the police are allowed to subdue suspects who resist arrest, and but for the medical problems that the person had, he probably would have survived the experience.

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    • icon
      nasch (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 8:22am

      Re: Lack of comprehension of homicide

      The reality is that you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the officer was behaving in an unjustified manner...

      In a jury trial, yes. The grand jury is supposed to decide whether there's enough evidence that a crime has occurred to go to trial.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2014 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re: Lack of comprehension of homicide

        Apparently the prosecutor had already made up his mind on this matter, in both cases. The grand jury was simply a hand waiving and justification exercise.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2014 @ 6:18pm

      Re: Lack of comprehension of homicide

      Damn, TD, trolling Ars Technica wasn't good enough for you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2014 @ 7:57am

    Wow - arguing legalese till the cows come home, awesome.
    Meanwhile some dude got choked to death over selling cigarettes without a license. What a wonderful police state we live in. This does not look like it will end well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 10:21am

      Re:

      Meanwhile some dude got choked to death over selling cigarettes without a license.

      Yabut, he was avoiding paying tobacco taxes. That's like genocide or something!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 7 Dec 2014 @ 2:35pm

    So, let's ignore the law for a minute (crazy, I know). Let's look at this scenario entirely using our "reasonable person" lens.

    Situation: A man is suspected of selling cigarettes illegally. He is stopped by police and denies selling anything. They attempt arrest, he says "Don't touch me, please," and an officer puts him in a choke hold from behind, then shoves him to the ground and holds him there. He states he can't breathe, and paramedics are called. When they arrive he goes into cardiac arrest in the ambulance and dies an hour later.

    Some additional details: At no point did they confirm the suspect was actually selling cigarettes nor if he had them on him at the time. He did not resist arrest nor make any aggressive movements towards the officers. Chokeholds have been banned by the NYPD since 1993. The cause of death was directly related to the chokehold and detainment on the ground, along with preexisting medical conditions, although the individual would not have died without police actions. The suspect had previously been arrested for numerous petty crimes, including the one he was currently being accused of, and was currently on bail. The police officer who performed the chokehold had been previously the subject of civil rights lawsuits where he had allegedly abused detainees, including forcing two black men to strip naked on the street before all charges were dismissed.

    Now let's get back to the law.

    So a man, not currently engaged in any crime, is choked, shoved to the ground, and dies due to complications arising from being choked and shoved to the ground. Assault by choking is a felony under New York law, and prohibited by police procedure. There's not even any question of evidence...we have the actions being directly recorded.

    And yet we aren't even going to charge the person who did it? How is using an unauthorized, felony level assault on a unresisting individual, who is not committing a crime, not even worth pursing in court?

    You can have all the pages of argument over this sentence or that sentence of the law, but it horrifies me that a man who wasn't committing a crime and wasn't a threat was killed and, due to technicalities, we aren't even going to charge the people responsible.

    It's this sort of thing that causes people to roll their eyes at the law. When normal human behavior is illegal, and potential murder (this case) or larceny on an unbelievable scale (Wall Street) isn't even tried in court, what other reaction can you have?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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