I'll get right to the point, folks.
Selling a couple of cigarettes on a New York street - that was all that Eric Garner might have done on his very last day on this Earth.
In New York City, selling cigarettes on the streets certainly was contrary to law. However, for the life of me, I will never believe the politicians who passed this particular law meant that it would be applied to selling one or two cigarettes on the city streets. So logically, I presume they were attempting to prevent the sale of cartons or packs of cigarettes on the street when they enacted the subject city ordinance.
In any case, under the existing New York City law, selling a few cigarettes was "malum prohibitum." However, at most it constituted a simple misdemeanor (actually, it was a civil infraction like receiving a parking ticket). Furthermore, and very importantly, under New York law there likely was NO legal right whatsoever to arrest Eric Garner because that alleged misdemeanor was not personally witnessed (in their physical presence) by the arresting police.
So this indeed was an UNLAWFUL ARREST of Eric Garner - which unquestionably amounts to a very strong Assault and Battery case against the police (when they put their hands on him and violently took him down), not to mention a strong case against the police for False Imprisonment. Also, because that deadly chokehold was used, that Assault and Battery case against the police constituted a jailable FELONY.
There is something else: When someone commits a misdemeanor with death resulting, a case of MANSLAUGHTER (at minimum) is properly raised.
Additionally, in some jurisdictions in America when an instance of False Imprisonment occurs under conditions which are considered "inherently dangerous," then a case of Felony-Murder is properly made out.
Many folks do not know this: the good-hearted Eric Garner had just broken up a street fight (without violence) minutes before the police unjustly and illegally accosted him. However, let's assume for the moment that in breaking up that fight that Eric Garner had put that same type of chokehold on one of the fight participants, and that participant subsequently died. Well, Eric Garner today would probably be alive in jail, awaiting his trial for murder or manslaughter.
So the question necessarily arises, why aren't these felonious cops in jail awaiting their own trials for assault and battery (with the use of deadly weapons, to wit: the deadly chokehold), false imprisonment - and most importantly: murder or manslaughter? Yes, where is the equal justice? Also, where is the transparency?
Folks, I'll bet my bottom dollar that none of the above potential police crimes were ever mentioned to the Grand Jury, which was artfully steered by the prosecutor, to simply look at the issue of "police justification;" and that's exactly why the Grand Jury system in America has always been flawed. Indeed, through a grand jury, a prosecutor can "indict a ham sandwich." However, that same prosecutor can "fix it," so that a murderer can walk away "scott free." It's long past time that we change the system, and particularly with regard to cases involving police crimes.
There is something else: Did you hear Eric Garner plaintively say to the police (and I paraphrase): "Leave me alone. This harassment has to end today."
You know, when one reads more about Eric Garner and the New York City Police, an unmistakable and tragic picture arises. Simply stated: It truly appears that he was a police "whooping boy." Indeed, this was not the first instance when the New York City Police engaged in the relentless bullying of Eric Garner. So sadly, it seems that this was all about police "fun and games, (gangland style)" in which a poor soul was violently deprived of his life. Note how nothing happened on the street until the entire fun and games team arrived onto the scene. And make no mistake about it, the fact that Eric Garner was a Black American, whom these particular police officers only had an utter disrespect for, and a perception of Eric being completely worthless as a human being, had EVERYTHING to do with it.
Folks, this police lawlessness directed against race has to stop - and now!!! And that includes "race profiling."
Of course, the overwhelming majority of police officers in America could never be guilty of something like this. Indeed, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of police officers reach retirement never having had to fire their guns. However, until these kinds of "cancerous and malignant cops" are completely resected and excised from the police community and removed forever from the streets nationwide, there can never be true justice in America.
May Almighty God lift up the worthy soul of Eric Garner.