Man choked to death by NYC police

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Borgholio
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Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Borgholio » 2014-08-01 04:32pm

We really need a dedicated police brutality / get out of jail free card thread.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... /13475451/
A New York City police officer's illegal chokehold killed Eric Garner last month, and his death has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner announced Friday.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo and another officer tried to arrest the 6-foot-3, 350-pound Garner, 43, for selling untaxed cigarettes on a Staten Island street July 17. Video shot by a passerby showed Pantaleo, an eight-year NYPD veteran, grabbing Garner around the neck as he and his partner wrestled him to the ground.

Police rules forbid chokeholds.

The video captured Garner saying at least eight times, "I can't breathe" as the officers pushed his face into the ground.

Four emergency workers were suspended without pay after witnesses reported they did not administer CPR or oxygen as Garner lay motionless.

Medical examiner spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Garner died from "the compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police." Asthma and heart disease contributed to his death, she said.

The Staten Island district attorney is investigating, and Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is "closely monitoring" the probe.

Pantaleo was stripped of his badge and gun and given desk duty. His partner, who has not been identified, was reassigned but allowed to keep his gun and badge.
So he chokes a man to death and gets desk duty. Damn, I wish I could murder someone and just be sentenced to my desk.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Highlord Laan » 2014-08-01 06:13pm

Borgholio wrote:
So he chokes a man to death and gets desk duty. Damn, I wish I could murder someone and just be sentenced to my desk.
Me too. Too bad I have more pride than the kind of people that join the gestapo.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-01 06:38pm

Keep in mind that this will almost certainly go to trial for at least manslaughter, as this has been ruled a clear homicide.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Beowulf » 2014-08-01 06:44pm

Homicide just means that it was caused by someone, and not an accident, and not the guy killing himself, in the US. It doesn't mean that the DA is required to prosecute.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-01 06:51pm

Wait, so if there is a violent death the DA can just decide to sit on his thumbs about it?
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Beowulf » 2014-08-01 07:11pm

Yes. Prosecutors have wide discretion on how to perform their duties, and are absolutely immune to civil suit on how they perform it. This allows the DA to avoid enforcing laws that he sees as unjust, but also has it's downsides.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by RogueIce » 2014-08-01 07:22pm

Theoretically yes. Hence "justifiable homicide" being a thing. If it was an unambiguous case of self-defense and that could be clearly shown (say there's clear video evidence) then there wouldn't be any charges.

Likewise the police are allowed to use force to arrest somebody who is resisting. If said force is found to have been within reason but the person died as a result, then in theory they would not be charged. Again as a hypothetical, if some guy got in an actual fight with an officer, kicking and punching and so on, but died of a heart attack. As long as whatever force the officers used was within policy and met the standards for reasonable force, they probably wouldn't be charged. They were acting within the law and the scope of their duties.

As for this case? We'll have to wait and see. It's in process still.
We really need a dedicated police brutality / get out of jail free card thread.
There is one but people seem to have stopped using it.
So he chokes a man to death and gets desk duty. Damn, I wish I could murder someone and just be sentenced to my desk.
They haven't determined a crime has been committed yet, so how can they charge anyone?

Whether you like it or not, the police do have the legal authority to use force to enact an arrest. The question in this case is whether that use of force was within policy and/or whether any unreasonable use of force actually contributed to this man's death. The chokehold is against policy, yes, but did it lead to the man's death? That apparently remains to be determined. Due process isn't just for civilians, and the fact is police do operate under different rules than the rest of us under certain circumstances, so something that might well be a crime for your average Joe isn't for them. Like running red lights and stop signs when responding to an emergency, as one obvious example.

So basically, the police can use force to ensure an arrest against a suspect who resists. If the suspects dies as a result that does not automatically make it a crime. They have to determine the reasonableness of said force, if it was within policy, and so on. Until that happens, they cannot say a crime has even occurred, much less charge any officers with one. Does this mean it could take longer to charge an officer than might happen with a civilian? Yes. If you don't like it, too bad. The police are not ordinary civilians.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Enigma » 2014-08-01 07:58pm

I don't know... its mentioned that the death was ruled a homicide so a crime must have been committed?
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by Kamakazie Sith » 2014-08-01 08:04pm

Enigma wrote:I don't know... its mentioned that the death was ruled a homicide so a crime must have been committed?
The ME doesn't determine if a crime has been committed. He determines cause of death. If the death is caused by human action then it will be ruled a homicide. For example, if you shot and killed Ted Bundy while he was attempting to murder you the ME would rule his death a homicide but it would be considered justifiable homicide by the prosecution.

However, I do believe this is criminal homicide because the choke hold is against policy for this very reason because it led the death of another person in the past. This officer should be charged with manslaughter but that is up the prosecution.
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by PREDATOR490 » 2014-08-01 08:31pm

The video of this incident can be found all over the place now: VIDEO

Really morbid to have so many professionals standing around talking while the guy is slowly dying.

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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by KlavoHunter » 2014-08-09 10:13pm

Didn't the person who took the video get arrested for doing so?
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Re: Man choked to death by NYC police

Post by General Zod » 2014-08-09 10:21pm

KlavoHunter wrote:Didn't the person who took the video get arrested for doing so?
He was arrested later, but for gun possession and marijuana. The problem is that this creates a conflict of interest with the prosecutor's office given that he's one of the DA's witnesses.
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