Comments by reader1
Posted on December 18 at 7:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)
ChuckD It's actually a pretty straight shot off I890. Coming from the north, down 50 or 146.
I don't see that as a major problem.
Posted on December 15 at 12:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)
I don't know that they are inciting a riot. I think the President was attempting to relieve some of the volatility of the issue, knowing people are upset, serve as a means to vent the emotional pressure. I think he's been pretty consistent in talking about perception re: these types of incidents and not criticizing the outcome.
I am not saying he handled it perfectly. I don't know there is a perfect way to react to these events. But, I think I understand what he is trying to do. Reasonable minds can disagree on that.
It is very unusual to have this many high profile incidents all occur at once. While I understand people locally feeling the need to protest, it is important for them to make sure sure their opinions of a national event do not distort the reality of their local interactions with law enforcement. Locally, up until these national incidents, there was no perception among the public that they needed to take to the streets. High profile incidents may mirror or cause people to distort the local reality.
If handled right, there are some positive things that can come out of this.
Posted on December 15 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)
People have initiated complaints against the police as long as there have been police, including the past several years. And, the crime rate continues to go down. Most officers understand that citizen's complaints are something that comes with the job. Some of the complaints are specific to a local incident, and some, like the recent protests, are generated by high profile national incidents. The national protests have nothing to do with local crime rates.
It is virtually impossible to prevent individuals from committing senseless, evil acts - murdering your domestic partner, killing someone over a debt. And, I am fairly confident when the police catch the individuals whom murdered Mr. Best, we will learn that he lost his life for some stupid and unnecessary reason.
Posted on December 8 at 9:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Not necessarily true. His size and the fact he was resisting could certainly justify the use of Tazer. Size is absolutely a consideration in which tactics you use to subdue someone. And it is not, nor doe does it resemble an illegal tactic. They had no idea he had a heart condition - they did hear him say he could not breathe.
Posted on December 7 at 10:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)
People shouldn't resist arrest, there are more effective and lawful means to address wrongful arrest.
That being said - No reasonable person questions the use of force to affect an arrest, reasonable people are upset over the fact someone died as a consequence of a relatively minor offense. One protester used the example of Clive Bundy and his supporters in Nevada - pointing guns at police re: his reported back taxes. He is unharmed and is even given support by some politicians. They look at that case and wonder how Eric Garner who is also committing a much lesser form of tax evasion gets killed. And, the "just don't resist arrest argument", does not explain away the recent incident in the apartment building, in which, a NYPD officer shot a black male whom no one is alleging committed a crime. And, the same scenario occurred before, there was a grand jury and no indictment. The distrust between police and minorities is way bigger than this or any one incident.
And the problem isn't going to get resolved by people taking wrong headed positions and defending them at all costs (e.g., "it's black people's fault because they commit more crimes" or conversely "teach minority kids to be afraid of the police because every cop is a potential murderer of minority children".)
RE: The President - I have a different view of his actions. I think he has been genuinely trying to defuse the situation and address the issue, including distrust. I might have gone about it somewhat differently, but, I believe he is doing what he thinks best. I do not hold the same opinion re: NYC Mayor - I just think his comments feed into that "teach your kids to be afraid of the police" is not the message that will resolve this issue. In fact, it might just make it worse.
Posted on December 7 at 8:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)
As usual, a thoughtful commentary. Don't put the police in a position to enforce laws, and all that it may require to enforce those laws, unless the potential harm posed by proscribed behavior compels it.
Although you didn't address this point in your comments, I wonder if making it easier to obtain "loosies" aka cigarettes is really something we should be advocating for? Remember - we are taking about cigarettes - a substance that kills and damages the health of countless people. Clearly, the taxes are about revenue. But, the taxes are also used as means to make cigarette smoking more difficult to do. As a government or society, it seems counter productive to campaign against a substance because of health concerns, use taxes as an obstacle to make it more difficult to obtain that substance - and at the same time - argue that those laws make little sense. Selling un-taxed cigarettes makes it easier for people in poorer communities to access cigarettes.
Posted on December 7 at 8:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The uproar over the Garner case, as well as others is understandable, but I am not certain it was clear that a choke hold was the cause of death. After the hold was released, one can hear Mr. Garner still talking, although in my opinion, his voice does sound like he is in distress. But, at that time, the officer who was the target of the grand jury had both hands pressing on Mr. Garner's head. Two things may have occurred. First, there is a condition called "positional asphyxia". That occurs during the act of restraining a suspect, or after a suspect has been restrained, their body is put in a position which makes it difficult if not impossible to breathe. (If you are overweight or have eaten a large meal and bend over to tie your shoes - you might get a sense of how this occurs). At that point in the struggle, there are several officers on top of the suspect - this is critical because this is one of the things that may induce P.A. Second, Mr. Garner who had indicated he was having difficulty breathing and obviously became unresponsive was left in a position that would not have made it easy to recover. One thing I have asked myself after watching the video is whether he might have survived had the officers sat him upright after he was handcuffed. If you consider these factors and his medical condition, to my mind, I can understand why the grand jury arrived at its' decision.
This was indeed a tragedy, one Mr. Garner and the officer(s) would have averted had they seen the eventual outcome. I do not want to engage in any after the fact debate about the case - that's been decided. Too often, those post proceeding debates often have more to do with people's preconceived attitudes and prejudices. I just think that the notion that Mr. Garner was choked to death, may not be accurate. And, at the least, it was certainly not clear enough to warrant an indictment. Reasonable and informed minds can differ, but that's where I came out on this.
RE: The writer's comments about training and policy - I think they are well placed. The first question asked by many with actual knowledge and experience in the matters was "Where was the Tazer?" As controversial as that instrument is - this seemed like a situation (6'3" - 350 pound suspect) in which its' use or threatened use may have been appropriate. Two things agency's having anti-crime units should know (1) You will make more arrests than the average officer. (2) Some individuals will make the ill advised decision to resist. One of the questions that will be asked during the subsequent civil proceedings will be related to how much training this unit receives regarding use of force. And, the negative consequences of restraint techniques (choke hold and similar moves should be prohibited) need to be constantly reinforced. I don't hear the protesters or the police arguing against any remedy that would prevent a tragedy like this from occurring in the future.
Posted on December 6 at 5:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)
The process was designed to be secretive. It is generally not a good idea to start altering the rules because a particular case is controversial.
Posted on December 5 at 8:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)
bookhound - Not sure whether there are more of these incidents. With all the ways these stories are communicated (e.g., twitter, youtube, 24 cable news) it may just seem like more. Whatever events happen - you can bet the stories will get a lot of airtime. this is a bad string of incidents - I cannot recall this many high profile incidents all coming to a head at once.
and the video was disturbing - to watch someone saying that they can't breathe and know that they will eventually die, that is upsetting to some people.
people are upset in the immediate wake of these events. and they have a right to protest. it will be interesting to see if anything productive comes out of the protests.
Posted on December 4 at 7:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Not responding to you, it's unproductive - a waste of my time.