Eric Garner, Bad Cops, & Useless Grand Juries

By Mike Caccioppoli

I’m so tired of writing about this crap. I’m sure you are tired of reading about it. None of us are surprised another grand jury didn’t indict a cop. Grand juries indict 99.9 percent of time. The .1 percent of the time they don’t is because a cop is on trial. The entire grand jury system needs to be scrapped. There is simply no need for it. They do exactly what the prosecutors want. If they want an indictment, they hand it down, if they don’t, they vote “no true” bill, whatever the hell that means or meant back in 1787 when maybe the grand jury system was necessary. They are now worthless, chocked with people who don’t think on their own, and just march in lock step with the orders they are given. They are just slaves to their prosecutor masters. It is time for the entire system to go.

In the Eric Garner case we have a video. Much like in the Ray Rice case. Before we had the Rice video many people were saying his punching out his fiancee wasn’t a big deal. After the video many wanted to hang Rice. Same case, same offense, but there was video. In the Michael Brown case there is no video. Imagine the difference if there had been. Now I don’t mean a difference in the outcome of the grand jury. We have all seen Eric Garner choked to death. It’s clear to see and it didn’t make a difference. Therefore there is data now that tells us police wearing cameras will not make much of a difference. Yes like with Garner, there would be a difference with public opinion but not where it counts most, in the justice system.  Because a grand jury simply will not indict a police officer.

eric-garner-cops-protests_640xWe all saw what happened. There really is no excuse to not get an indictment for probable cause. Which brings up another issue. An issue which is so glaringly unfair, such an obvious conflict of interest that the fact it had not been remedied decades ago proves that our justice system is not the best in the world.  People can scream and yell about how it’s the best as much as they want, just like they scream and yell that everything in this country is the best, it still doesn’t make it a fact. In this case I’m talking about having an ordinary prosecutor take cases involving police shootings or misconduct. The same prosecutors who are on the side of the police, who work with them daily and need them to make their cases. The same prosecutors who are buddy buddy with cops, who go out and drink with them and socialize with them. This is the greatest injustice of all injustices. Any case which involves law enforcement needs to be assigned immediately to a special prosecutor that has NO connection with the cops involved. If the federal government needs to be involved then so be it. Any country that is serious about its judicial system being the best and most fair would have had this in place already. It’s that simple.

I have to love those right wingers who are now feigning bewilderment at the Garner case. Because there is a video they cannot dispute. Well, most of them. I’m not talking about the disgusting Rudy Giuliani or abhorrent Peter King. They both have enough white ethnic cop apologists (some who are indeed racists) among their followers and constituents that they can be as grotesque as they want with no consequences. The others are, all of a sudden, shocked and amazed that a grand jury didn’t indict. As though this was the first injustice ever. Even though we just had one before this. Of course they still won’t admit any kind of racism was involved. You see it’s all just a coincidence that these are white cops killing blacks, time after time.

Timothy Loehmann, the cop in Cleveland who killed 12 year old Tamir Rice was rejected by the NYPD. The same department that allowed Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who killed Eric Garner, (and who already had one civil case against him settled for tens of thousands of dollars), onto the force, rejected this guy. That’s how bad he is. He was also thrown off a previous police force due to emotional and other issues. He has been reported to have said that he wanted to join the Cleveland police department because he wanted “action.” Action? I thought cops just wanted to go home at night? Oh, and by the way, citizens deserve to go home at night as well. Even more so actually because they aren’t willingly taking a job that can be dangerous and getting money and a pension for it. But this cop was obviously nuts, so why was he hired? Because they never checked into his background. Disgraceful. And the police unions, willing to defend everything and anything a bad cop might do, make this liberal want to hate unions.

eric-garner-copsPolice departments not checking backgrounds before they hire. Cops with no ability to relate on a human, emotional level to another person. When a child puts a chokehold on another, when they are just doing horseplay, and the other child screams or says they can’t breathe, the other child releases. Why? Because human nature kicks in and makes them care about the other kid, to understand that causing distress is bad and wrong. But our cops seem to lack this most basic human ability. Time after time. Whether it’s someone with their hands up or someone who has already been shot two or three times, or a child with a toy gun, or a guy gasping for air, saying 11 times, “I can’t breathe.” Several cops just stood around while Garner was choked to death, both during and after the act.

Too often these cops have no emotional or ethical conscience. There is something sociopathic about it and that’s frightening. Not only do we need police departments to do the BASIC operations of checking backgrounds but we also need better psychological screenings or people wanting to be cops. We need police officers with true concern for the lives and well being of the citizens they are sworn to serve and protect. Not just the old deli owner who serves them lunch, that’s easy, but the people they encounter daily who might be breaking the law as well. That the lives of these people are as important as their own. That they have families they want to go home to as well.

The mentality of the warrior cop must be expunged from the police force. It must be replaced by the human cop.


Never again.