Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal - The Unfortunate Case of Eric Garner

Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal, a black libertarian offers his observations on the recent death of Eric Garner. On August 1, the medical examiner's spokeswoman, Julie Bolcer, announced that Garner's death has been ruled a homicide.

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"For readers who haven’t yet heard, the case of Eric Garner is a troubling one. Basically, on July 17, 2014, on Staten Island, New York, this man was confronted on the street by NYC police officers. There was a prolonged verbal conversation before the takedown as Mr. Garner repeatedly asked why he’s being confronted and then asked to be left alone. One of the police officers, Daniel Pantaleo, then used the banned choke hold against the victim, who was then thrown to the ground by several additional officers. Audibly, Mr. Garner can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe.” Despite Mr. Garner’s nonresponsiveness and apparent lack of any breathing, neither the police officers at the scene (who are trained) nor the EMS workers performed CPR. Mr. Garner subsequently died of cardiac arrest.

A video of the police encounter can be found here, and a tape of the EMS intervention (or lack of it) can be seen here.

What happened to Mr. Garner is indeed a tragedy, especially for the family that he left behind, but to focus on the choke hold in this matter is to focus solely on a single component working within the context of a dysfunctional system. To fix the problem, one would need to analyze and correct all the dysfunctional components.

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