Oh, Look: A New York Post Editorial Blames Eric Garner for His Own Death

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We’ve long since ceased to be amazed by the depths that human beings can sink to, especially when it comes to those who want to preserve their own place in the existing power structure, even at the cost of dehumanizing countless other people for no reason other than the color of their skin. What can we say? We’re cynical. 

And, of course, we’re not just cynical about human nature—we also have really low opinions of other things too! Things like the New York Post‘s editorial board. So it should have come as no surprise that a day after a grand jury failed to indict Eric Garner’s killer, Post columnist Bob McManus (who has, in the recent past, defended well-known jerk Rudy Giuliani) decided to write a column in which he blamed Garner for his own death. McManus thinks that it was Garner’s decision to sell loose cigarettes (a crime which McManus admits seems “inconsequential” because IT IS) which directly, justifiably, caused his death. McManus even goes so far as to call police officer Daniel Pantaleo’s response “textbook,” a description which is patently wrong seeing as how the deployment of a chokehold by an officer is literally illegal, and not “illegal” as McManus would have readers believe.

Nice as it would be to just write-off McManus as being a bloviating asshole who is pandering to the Post‘s conservative readership (and ownership), he isn’t the only person responding with staggering insensitivity to the Garner case. Following the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center last night—an event that protestors failed to derail—two people decided to re-enact the fatal chokehold that Pantaleo put on Garner for the camera of the WPIX 11 news team. What the fuck, humanity? Do better.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


  1. You want to know what’s wrong with the Grand Jury System?
    I’ll tell you, pure and simple.
    if he or she wants to, a Prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich.
    BUT, he can’t indict a killer pig.
    And we can’t even get a trial.
    Now that’s a shame, a real shame. In America.
    p.s. My apologies for the language. I do not condemn or “indict”, any whole group of people, be they police, or black, or white. But sometimes, especially when people are dying, harsh and blunt language is necessary, to break through the pain and insanity and indifference.

  2. Garner died from an asthma attack. The choke-hold may have triggered the onset of the asthma attack, but the choke-hold itself didn’t cause his death. Meanwhile, as Commissioner Bratton said in the days following Garner’s death, the cops had been sent to the area in response to complaints from local shop-owners about people — Garner — selling loosies.

    It’s pretty clear other items were also for sale. That aside, Garner was obviously resisting arrest. He was clearly engaged in a verbal battle with the cops who were telling him they were going to arrest him and that he had to allow them to put on the handcuffs. He decided to fend them off, he was put in a choke-hold for 10 or 15 seconds, he fell to the ground, and, unfortunately, was done in by his asthma.

    Furthermore, as a person who’d been arrested more than 30 times, he knew exactly what was involved in the arrest procedure, but he decided to be uncooperative — which means he was resisting arrest. It takes foolishly stubborn person to resist arrest when several officers are on three sides of you and you know there’s little to fear during a ride to the precinct house and thereafter.

  3. Stop with the RACE crap! These events are due to the BIG government that the voters have chosen in New York in every election. You increase the power of government and it grows like a malignant cancer. It has NOTHING to do with race so get off it! This guy cut into their TAX profit by selling cigarettes and the government can’t do without its fix (tax money). Government also feels invincible and looks down on all the citizens. This filters down through the police force.


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