The Zehnder Weekly: Eric Garner and Michael Brown are not the Same Story

In the scuttlebutt about the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson incident in Ferguson, an incident which occurred just a few weeks before slipped from our minds and the news media. Now that a grand jury has ruled that Officer Wilson will not be indicted, and most of the rioters in Ferguson have gone home, we recall the tragic death of Eric Garner which occurred on July 17, just a few weeks before the death of Michael Brown.

But as the dust of the Michael Brown incident settles in the streets of Ferguson, the race baiters bring to the forefront the Eric Garner incident, trying to claim that there is an “epidemic” of racism and police brutality. When the decision came down, rather than rioting and looting as in Ferguson, protests that were for the most part peaceful broke out across America, especially in New York City.

Sadly, both of these stories end in the death of black man that is about the only similarity between these stories.  Aside from the endings, these are two very different stories. In the case of Michael Brown and Officer Wilson, as best as we can tell from an examination of the evidence, Officer Wilson was well within his rights not just as a police officer but as a citizen, in his use of lethal force, as his life appeared to be in danger. Thus, the grand jury did not indict Officer Wilson.

Similarly, the officer who applied the choke-hold was also not indicted, that is the only other similarity between these scenarios. Now I admit that when you compare the stories like this it looks a bit fishy, two black men die, two white police officers not indicted, but we’ve only scratched the surface.

“The arrest of Eric Garner, which subsequently lead to his death, was supervised by a black, female police sergeant.” TPNN.reported. Had the sergeant felt her officers were acting under a racially charged motive, you’d think she’d have said something right?

“There is no doubt that Garner was resisting an arrest for illegally selling untaxed cigarettes,” Newsmax reported on Thursday. Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police commissioner told Newsmax:  “You cannot resist arrest. If Eric Garner did not resist arrest, the outcome of this case would have been very different… He wouldn’t be dead today.”

Does that mean Garner deserved to die for resisting arrest? Of course not! But the officers weren’t trying to kill him either.

So why was the officer not indicted? He was not indicted because while the NYPD prohibits the use of choke-holds, they are not illegal; thus, no indictment. Now, did they officer mess up? Yes. Does this make him a “bad cop?” Not necessarily.  Was this a case of police brutality? I think so.

However just because the officer was not indicted does not mean he gets off scot-free. Buck Sexton, host of “The Buck Sexton Show” on the Blaze Radio Network, and formerly of the CIA and the NYPD Intelligence Division, said on his show Thursday that the officer will likely be fired, which means that his career is over.  So to all those protestors, crying “justice for Garner” or whatever they’re chanting, you got it. Justice is served.  He’s probably not a “bad cop” but actions have lasting consequences.

Follow Katherine on Twitter: @Kathzeh