“The more laws, the less justice.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero.
“Before, we had crimes that oppressed us; Now, we have laws
that oppress us.” – Tacitus. (56 B.C.)
Racism didn’t kill Eric Garner. Liberalism did.
Eric Garner was the New York City “loosie man” who perished
shortly after he was subdued for resisting arrest. After a grand jury declined
to indict the policeman who wrestled Garner to the ground, protests erupted
around the country, inspired by the false narrative that his arrest and death
were racially motivated.
That reaction was undoubtedly primed by the Ferguson,
Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting
death of Michael Brown.
In both cases, irresponsible and inaccurate reporting served
a narrative that was dramatically at odds with freely available facts. For
example, that now famous video of Garner being subdued on the sidewalk clearly
shows that the policeman did not place Eric Garner in a “choke hold.” Garner’s airway was in no way obstructed.
And the police who confronted Eric Garner were not just
walking the streets trolling for black men, as the racial arsonists of the
world would have us believe. They were part of a dedicated unit of the NYPD
that was tasked with making the world safe from men who sell individual
cigarettes on New York City’s streets.
Thanks to the voracious appetite of the state and the
totalitarian instincts of New York’s previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg and it’s
current mayor, Bill DeBlasio, a pack of smokes sells for between $12 and $14
per pack. This created a fertile ground for a black market that the loosie men
The New York Times, in 2011, published a lengthy article on
the underground economy that serves New York’s nicotine addicts. A loosie man
can make between $120 - $150 dollars per day selling unpackaged cigarettes (loosies).
The story profiled one particular loosie man named Lonnie Warner. His customers
know him as “Lonnie Loosie.” The police call him, “Fish.’ He gained his police
nickname in recognition for how frequently he is caught selling loose cigarettes.
Lonnie Loosie views his frequent citations as part of the
cost of doing business. After
all, the same silly laws that he frequently violates created
the environment that provides him with his livelihood: “The tax went up, and we
started selling 10 times as much,” Warner said. “Bloomberg thinks he’s stopping
people from smoking. He’s just turning them onto loosies.”
Under Bloomberg’s direction, the NYPD created a dedicated,
plainclothes police division devoted to pursuing loosie men. And just two weeks
before Eric Garner’s fatal confrontation with this unit, Philip Banks, New
York’s highest-ranking uniformed policeman, ordered more aggressive enforcement
of the city’s anti-loosie laws.
Like Lonnie Loosie, Garner was also a frequent target of the
anti-loosie police. Like Lonnie Loosie,
he probably viewed the law as both opportunity and nuisance. All he wanted to
do was feed his family without overfeeding the leviathan state. But the
increased enforcement exhausted his patience and when he dared to resist, the police
responded with the strong-arm takedown that ended his life.
He had to be wondering if the police had nothing better to
do than harass loosie men. And statistics show that such concerns are
justified. FiveThirtyEight.com analyzed policing in New York City and found
that Garner’s precinct issued a disproportionate number of citations for minor
There is no reason to suspect racism or any intent to injure
or kill on the part of the police. Contrary to the media narrative, Officer
Daniel Pantaleo did not apply a “choke hold.” The coroner’s report pointed to
advanced heart disease and asthma as the causes of death and not asphyxiation. Choking
leaves a wealth of forensic evidence that any pathologist could recognize.
And while Officer Pantaleo has assembled a troubling record,
including two lawsuits for civil rights violations, during this incident he was
under the direct supervision of his sergeant, Kizzy Adoni, an African-American
woman. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Officer Pantaleo could be
prosecuted on state charges of murder or manslaughter, or for a racially motivated,
federal civil rights violation without his sergeant as a co-defendant. Awkward!
But for the left, it’s not the facts, but the narrative that
matters. To the left, the narrative is so sacred that it’s treated as if it
were a vengeful god who requires the periodic sacrifice of a white guy.