On Wednesday, Black America was hit with a massive punch to its collective gut as we learned a Staten Island grand jury failed to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of 43-year-old Eric Garner.
Despite video evidence that captured the entire incident leading up to Garner being drug down to the ground and exclaiming 11 times “I can’t breathe,” the 23 person panel, comprised of 14 Whites and 9 non-Whites, decided to not indict Pantaleo for his actions that caused the death of Garner.
Rep. Rangel told Martin, “They say the grand jury procedure is private, is secret, but the public is screaming out what happened in that room?”
“If a person dies, it is declared to be a homicide and half a dozen policemen are around him, how did he die? So you just can’t come out and say no indictment, no true bill. And so we are screaming that we find out just how could they have reached this ridiculous conclusion.”
Rangel added, “Even if we’re going to assume and we should not, it was a heart attack. It was brought on about the physical attack which was an illegal chokehold on the victim.
Lisa Bloom a civil rights attorney tweeted yesterday that she is ashamed of the legal system in America.
Bloom told Martin, “we now have public killings of African Americans on our streets and then secret trials, is this America?”
“We’re going in the wrong direction, I’ve covered the George Zimmerman case extensively, I wrote a book of how bad the prosecution was in that case. Here we are two cases later, Mike Brown and Eric Garner, those prosecutors look terrific compared to what’s happened in the last two cases.”
Bloom added, “At least the prosecutors in the George Zimmerman case charged the man and put him on trial and treated the family with respsect. None of that happened in the Mike Brown case and in the Eric Garner case we have a video.”
“I don’t think this grand jury decision can be explained other than prosecutorial incompetence or worse,” Bloom said. “Clearly prosecutors don’t want indictments in these cases they treat them differently than every other case.”
Bloom, who has been practicing law for more than 20 years continued, “I think this is the lowest point for civil rights in America since I’ve been practicing law.”
Listen to Martin, Rep. Rangel and Lisa Bloom discuss the New York grand jury’s decision to not indict NYPD’s Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner above.
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