The Ferguson case and the Eric Garner case have polarized this country on the subject of minorities and their interactions with police officers. The left-leaning media and well-known race baiters insist that in both cases racism played a major role, while others insist race had nothing to do with either case. Both sides quote statistics to bolster their claims and draw people to their “side.” Often the some of the points made on each side have equal validity. This is what makes this such a complicated issue.
One can certainly not say that racial profiling never occurs, but neither can one say with certainty that race played a role in either of the above-mentioned cases. I am concerned that the speculation and accusations of racism are overshadowing the important issue of whether or not the police are using excessive force against citizens.
The Eric Garner case is a sad illustration of this issue. Eric Garner was selling illegal cigarettes in the progressive nanny state that is New York. He was not committing a violent crime nor threatening harm to himself or others. His very mild resistance to an absurd arrest was clearly not done in a threatening manner. He was backing away from the officer, not charging at him. Yet a chokehold from the back is used and five officers pounce on him and proceed to hold him down while he tells them he cannot breathe. His “crime” did not warrant the use of that kind of force nor did his behavior. He certainly did not deserve to lose his life.
I know that police officers have a very difficult job in protecting the public and upholding the law. Our society is becoming increasingly more dangerous and violent. But they also carry a lot of power and with that comes great responsibility. They are not above the law nor the Constitution. We do not live in a police state where officers can harass people for no reason or use deadly force for minor offenses. That is not the America I know and love.
There are definitely issues between law enforcement and minority communities and I believe that there are times when black people are targeted simply because they are black. These things definitely need to be part of the growing national conversation. However, they cannot be the only thing we talk about.
By making these incidences only a black/white thing and insisting that the above cases were all about race, you risk scratching only the surface of what is a larger issue. We need to rebuild the relationships between police officers and people of all color. We must praise the police officers who do their job with integrity and honesty and hold accountable those who make deadly errors or worse. This is vital in order to preserve our Republic and help heal our country.
** I find it interesting that in the red state of SC a police officer was indicted for the murder of an unarmed man and rightly so. Two more officers’ cases are pending and based on what I have read deserve indictment as well. Yet in the hyper-blue state of New York a man can be killed by an officer for complaining about being arrested for selling illegal cigarettes and walk. Further proof that Progressivism inevitably leads to increased use of government force with no consequences for those who wield it.