The now world-famous footage of Eric Garner essentially being man-slaughtered in broad daylight hammers home a serious point.
If the heinous crime of selling individual cigarettes on the street requires several police officers to man-handle, bring down and choke a single, unarmed, non-dangerous, non-threatening individual, then I’d have hated to see what they would’ve done to someone actually committing a real crime.
The NYPD officer in question clearly attended the same ‘choke first, ask questions later’ training camp as the Israeli Defense Forces personnel who yesterday essentially assassinated a leading Palestinian politician.
One wonders if in all of these incidents, Ferguson included, we are getting a taste of what a future global police state might look like.
It might even be possible that authorities are simply testing the waters to see how the population will respond. Because, either way, it’s extraordinary that even after the unrest and resentment caused by the Ferguson verdict two weeks ago, the same verdict, the same lack of accountability, was repeated so quickly again. One wonders if deliberate provocation and incitement is being engineered; a question that was already occurring to me in regard to the Ferguson verdict.
The protests that have erupted across US cities in response first to the Ferguson verdict and then to the Eric Garner verdict have clearly demonstrated to American government and law-enforcement institutions how widespread the dissatisfaction and condemnation is. New York City, Washington, Seattle and every major US city has been moved and shaken by these events and what they reveal about both the police force and the legal system and about race relations/perceptions in America; the protests have in fact spread out of the US altogether and were going on in my city, London, today too.
It’s gone far beyond a race issue by now and has become something much more about societies in which criminal bankers can get away with crimes on a scale we can barely conceive of, where politicians holding high office can wage illegal foreign wars without being brought to trial and where police officers can literally get away with murder and CIA operatives can have their illegal torture activities exposed and yet not have to worry about facing legal proceedings; all while a guy walking the street and allegedly selling single cigarettes for fifty cents ends up man-handled to death by a gang of unaccountable law-enforcers.
That’s the nature of a police state in the making; one in which the institutions’ interests are first served and the interests of the citizen come second.
Meanwhile the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy held a special class on October 24th for what they called “upper-echelon law enforcement professionals” and addressing the touchy subject of ‘Officer-Involved Shooting’, adding ‘You Can Win With the Media’.
The class focused on topics like “Managing the Media When Things Get Ugly (Think Ferguson).” Promotional material promised, “In addition to the Ferguson case study, this fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques that will help you WIN WITH THE MEDIA!”
No, not making it up; I was made aware of this story by the Global Research site here.
How assuring it must be to all American citizens, particularly the great mass of disillusioned people who’ve been mobilising for protests all across the country, to know that the police are genuinely learning lessons from the Eric Garner controversy.
Unfortunately those lessons aren’t about how to NOT use excessive force or how to NOT murder unarmed people, but about how to Win With the Media and get away with it.