Amidst news of the continuing occurrence of shooting death by police of unarmed (but “resisting”) black males across the country, right-wing columnist Bob McManus of the New York Post—a publication just one step more credible (or responsible) than your typical supermarket tabloid—recently all but opined that Eric Garner deserved to die via an illegal chokehold by a white police who had a history of complaints concerning abusive behavior. After all, Garner was “resisting” arrest. That, after viewing the video, is subject to interpretation; others may simply see someone having a “discussion” with the officers. The cowardly plainclothes officer who administered the sucker-chokehold while standing behind Garner clearly was acting well beyond what was necessary. In fact, there is no doubt that malice was on his mind; he probably even enjoyed it.
In his previous op-ed, McManus praised former mayor Rudy Giuliani about getting it “right” about how police “save” black lives. Of course, this illogically mendacity should be expected from a Republican. McManus claimed that “The city’s murder rate began its dramatic decline during Giuliani’s early months in office, accelerated during the remainder of his mayoralty — and continued to fall during the ensuing 12 years as Mike Bloomberg more or less unapologetically continued Giuliani-era policing strategies.”
He goes on to say that “Whether those policies — high-profile, aggressive and unquestionably effective — will survive the current mayor is very much an open question. And that’s something that should concern all New Yorkers.” But how “effective” have those policies really been? McManus provides no “dramatic” figures—they seem to be merely “assumed” because of all of the tough-guy “law and order” talk justifying police abuses.
In fact, the only thing that “dramatically” changed was the “high-profile” and “aggressive” tactics that led to more frequent cases of lethal force by police, the Amadou Diallo shooting a case in point; Diallo was a law-abiding immigrant from Africa who four plainclothes white police officers got “mixed up” with an alleged serial rapist suspect. The 41 bullets fired (19 hits) later, the “armed”-only-with-his-ID-card Dialo died a victim of crazed cops allowed to run like wild beasts by the Giuliani administration (note that plainclothes cops seem to believe that can operate outside their “training”). All the cops involved in that shocking killing were acquitted by an Albany jury—one obviously tainted by ignorance.
In his surety of himself, McManus makes two more major missteps. He says that 95 percent of homicide victims in New York City are black or Hispanic; 91 percent of the suspects are black or Hispanic—a near “perfect mirror,” or so he says. That still means that there is still a small but significant number of blacks and Hispanics killed by whites; the question then is who is responsible for that overage. The answer, of course, is white police officers—the ones who are supposed to be “saving” black lives instead of taking them.
McManus follows-up this misstep with another monstrosity when he writes “In New York City, blacks made up 23 percent of the population in 2013, but suffered 62 percent of the homicides. Whites, at 44 percent of the population, numbered only 7.2 percent of murder victims.” Of course that might mean that whites in NYC live in much different circumstances than blacks, but they are still pretty grim numbers. The problem is still how does he justify the claim that NYPD police are “saving” black lives—particularly when virtually of all homicides are after the fact? The fact of the matter is that police officers rarely have the opportunity to prevent homicides; the reality is that the people they kill have not committed or have in fact any intent to commit a homicides; they are more usually people who committed “petty” crimes. Thus police don’t “save” lives in minority communities; they just add to the body count.
McManus pathetically gets it wrong yet again when he compares the Eric Garner case to that of Michael Brown. Garner was clearly not using a “threatening” posture toward police. Garner was of the age and health to be of no danger to anyone. Again, what black life was supposed to be “saved” by killing him? What black man was supposed to be saved by the “Welcome to America” shooting of Diallo? McManus takes the time to mention that the NYPD is diverse; so please explain why is that it is almost always white police officers who are the ones shooting minorities?
OK, we will admit that Garner was a “career petty criminal.” What is “petty crime” anyways? Garner was suffering from a number of ailments, such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma; to make a living, he was selling untaxed cigarettes. So for what justification did the police officers go nuts on him? Why are police killing unarmed people selling cigarettes instead of “saving lives” in gang-infested inner city neighborhoods? Are NYPD officers taking payoffs, as in the past? Or will they just say they are not “social workers?” They just act tough, and if you act out your indignation at such behavior, you might just find yourself beaten or dead.