“And sure enough, I will contradict tomorrow what I said today. The reason is simple. The facts coming from Staten Island in the case of Eric Garner’s tragic death differ as much from Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson as Mr. Brown’s death differed from Trayvon Martin’s. As I have said for months, I believe New York police officers used excessive force and killed a man for committing a minor offense and the cops involved should be punished.” – Joe Scarborough
Today a grand jury in New York refused to indict any policemen in the Eric Garner case. This is despite the fact that there was video showing at least one policeman clearly violating New York police regulations that prohibit choke holds. This is despite the fact that the alleged suspect is heard telling the police that he cannot breathe. This is despite the fact that the same video shows that the guy was not actively resisting the police. This despite the fact that the police chief clearly stated that retraining is needed by the entire department on the policy against choke holds.
The facts shown in the video are so compelling that former Congressman Joe Scarborough, a known conservative with a 95% conservative rating during his time in Congress, has penned the lines above. In Ferguson, he supported the police because of the facts. In Florida, he supported Trayvon Martin’s side. As he points out, there are people who will support the police no matter what they do just as there are people who support the dead or wounded person no matter what. Joe Scarborough is not one of those people. He says that we must evaluate the facts, not the race.
But, even he has come to acknowledge that there is a problem in America. From Trayvon Martin, through Michael Brown, through Eric Garner, through the twelve year old boy who was shot, one thing is becoming increasingly clear in the United States. If you are black in the United States, whether you are innocent or guilty, if you are shot by a neighborhood watch or a policeman, the person who shot you will never be found culpable of excessive use of force. You will simply become yet another statistic. Law enforcement officers or near-law-enforcement security guards have come to have their actions automatically justified when a black is shot.
For those who claim that the election of President Obama means that we are now in a post-racial America, the facts show otherwise. Even avowed conservatives with their own TV show are beginning to admit so in writing.