Saturday, October 25, 2014

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The Call Blog: Family, Friends Remember Eric Garner At His Funeral

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Tonight is the fourth night we've discussed the controversy around Eric Garner's death. New Yorkers have had a lot of opinions on this and I'm sure we'll hear from more in the future. My hope is that the NYPD does indeed learn from last week's tragedy and that all police officers will be appropriately retrained in the use of force. All eyes on Commissioner Bratton...


Your thoughts and comments are posted below.



A funeral is being held tonight for Eric Garner, the 43-year-old Staten Island man who died shortly after police wrestled him to the ground for allegedly selling individual cigarettes. News of Garner's death made national headlines and led to a top-to-bottom review of training procedures for police officers. In addition, the new NYPD Inspector General is said to be reviewing the use of banned chokeholds over the past five years.

While on vacation in Italy today, Mayor de Blasio was asked if he would have attended Garner's funeral if he was here. De Blasio's responded, "I don't deal on hypotheticals. I reached out to his widow and to his mother and we had a really good conversation. I wanted them to know that I felt a deep sense of sorrow for their loss." What do you say?

How will you remember Eric Garner? What changes do you hope happen as a result of this tragedy? What specific area do police need retraining in? What's your reaction to Mayor de Blasio's comments? Does it matter to you that he is away on vacation at this time?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



Training should always be updated and given to officers yearly. Police officers are human they go through many different circumstances on the job. They can easily become desensitized from situations and act instinctual and instead of helping the situation it can become worse. Officers need to regroup. Believe that if they had civilians and officers together during training they can both learn more on what it is like to be in each others shoes.

Adelin
South Jamaica



I think need to learn how to act in public and to quit playing the race card. Also, get rid of Bratton. Going to LAPd for help!

Roscoe
Park Hill



If Mayor Diblasio felt sorrow for the Garner's family loss he would of been here for the fallout after Mr Garner's tragic death, he could of postponed his vacation until at least Friday, this reminds me when Mayor Bloomberg was out of town and the city was hit with the blizzard obviously this is a more serious then the blizzard a man died in the hands of incomptent NYPD officers and EMT workers. I hope everybody espically minorities use their camera phone when they see the NYPD abusing their power when arresting someone espically minorities some of these white cops are racist i have stories about staten island and racism.

Herman
Upper West Side


My personal opinion is if he would of cooperate he would still be alive. There he was getting out of controll for no reason. Maybe if a lot of people would listen without reacting police wouldn't use the force they should. I believe the under cover was in the right doing his job

Nazeer



Black men are killed all the time by police and it seems nothing will change that which is sad.

Rich
Midtown East



The complete story needs to be told. It seems as though a conclusion has been made already. He did not die because he was just selling loosies he did try to break up a fight prior to the officers showing up and they did get a call about the fight. But this Eric Garner was also a habitual seller of these loosies especially to children. He said I'm tired of you harassing me all the time but he had 30 some odd arrests for one reason or another. Did this guy have a job because I was watching some of the people interviewed on the street saying that he was trying to make a living for his family. This DeBlasio should not have taken this vacation. Of course he is going to be questioned about it. He didn't seem to like being questioned about the trip but then again it goes with the territory. That job was created a while back because they felt that if something happens to the mayor then the public advocate steps in. [Lord help us all.] We still have to remember that when law enforcement stops anyone they should just not resist=just follow orders. How many times in all of his arrests was he hassled? We have many questions and we will just have to wait and see. Condolences to the family of Eric Garner.

Maxxiee
Morris Park



I will remember Mr. Garner as an innocent man who died due to unlawful tactics used by NYPD officers. This is a very sad day for New York City. The Police Commissioner is trying to deflect attention by stating he is going to retrain the dept. by using a training system used in L.A. set up by no other than himself. Pat Lynch, PBA president, is defending the cops for an act that is indefensible. He has no credibility. As for Deblasio, the answer to the reporter's question should have been yes. Yes, I would have attended Mr. Garner's funeral.

Kate
Midtown East



A telephone call to Mr. Garner's wife & family is thoughtful, however, as the Mayor of this city, Blasio should have cut is family's vacation short and return to New York. We elected him, not the other way around, so returning to Italy at a different point and time is a no brainer. As other's, I will remember Mr. Garner as I man who had a lovely family who loved him. Being a good guy, he broke up a fight only to be surrounded by cops one minute and begging for his life minutes later until his last breath. His civil rights were violated and this tragedy should have never, ever happened. Mr. Garner should be home with his family like everyone else. Instead, his family and friends are devastated and trying to understand.........WHY?? AND HOW ARE THEY GOING TO GO ON??? Thanks to NYCRESISTANCE on youtube & other's who has also proven the downfall within NYPD and blowing the roof off the their blue code of silence. Living in this city, I don't expect EMT'S or NYPD to save my life if my heart stops beating. They're too darn busy checking their phones. The trust I once had towards both, died with Mr. Garner.

Nowal
Financial District



Why aren't the cops and EMS personnel who are responsible for Mr. Garner's death under arrest and in holding cells at Rykers Island?

Joe
Port Richmond



It is very sad, and most unfortunate, that this man died while officers were struggling to apprehend him. But before we all armchair quarterback the mistakes that may have been made by police, if we go to extremes in criticism, and punishment, the changes we might see in the future are a police force that is afraid, and extremely hesitant towards responding to crime, and apprehending criminals. Trust me, as a New York City Correction Officer who now works for a department that allows the inmates to rule, because it is to easy for an officer to be punished for excessive force, I ask the people off New York City: do we want our neighborhoods to be recklessly ruled by criminals for the very same reasons why they rule the confines of our jails today.

Calle
Five Towns, NY



I think the changes that need to come from this tragedy is sensitivity training on the part of the nypd.cops come to the job with preconceived notions of minorities...I think discipline for the cops over aggressiveness with rectify the problem.

Anonymous



In watching the video and seeing all that transpired it is a tragedy on both ends. First the cops and EMTs do their jobs everyday to save lives. Secondly a man committing a minor criminal infraction was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cant say cops to be retrained but everyone should be more mindful of what the laws are on both sides.

Paula
Staten Island



Police are the real criminals. As long there's no consequences for there actions. This will continue to happen.

Willy
East Harlem


The Daily News reports that in the police report document on this, the word choke hold is not mentioned. Is that a deliberate whitewash? Or is it really in dispute? All the news reports use this term to describe what happened.

Meredith



That police should be brought up for murder. Not only did he murder that man. He taunt the camera, by waiving. Its a shame. I think the police department should e accountable, for every law suit. They still get promoted even after being suit several time. So they (then police) know nothing is going to happen to them. That's why they continue violating people's rights.

Paul



Cops need to learn non-violent conflict resolution. It's just that simple. Also, how about mandatory counseling for ALL cops, courses on stress-relief, courses on basic psychology, and mandatory time in the communities they police, but out of uniform, working with community members on common goals? It might be expensive, but it will cost a lot less than the lawsuits the current training seems to foment. We don't need more cops; we need better ones. All police have to undergo a thorough psychological exam to make sure they're not sociopaths or bullies. I can see how years of an extremely stressful and nasty job can change that. Every five years, cops should have to be re-evaluated to see if the job is too much for them to handle. The problem isn't that #99 used a choke hold. The problem was that he still had his gun and badge when it's obvious it should've been taken away years ago.

Jordan
Flushing



It is not about training but about changing the relationship police and citizens. I just came home from police precinct few minutes ago. I was brutalized, checked, and arrested by so called hospital peace officers. I was asked to leave then given permission to stay by the bedside of my sister in law. One thing lead to another , and I was brutalized and arrested accused of assaulting someone. The same mentality that exists in the NYPD, is the same now being used.

Anonymous



Please clarify: Is a loose cigarette sale a violation or a crime? Did the police retrieve the cigarettes or the buyer as evidence if it is criminal? Have violations been upgraded to be handled as crimes? Please clarify: Is the use of the "chokehold" by police banned/illegal? Would this case be a case and point as to why it was deemed illegal?

Ken
Harlem



There seems to be a lot of focus on the choke hold. I'm curious to know what a medical examiner would say about cause of death. Meanwhile I would suspect it's the cops sitting on top of him that killed him, suffocating him and/or setting off an asthma- or heart-attack. Cops sit on suspects all the time, and that tactic should be a focus of an investigation, however spectacular the brief choke hold is.

Matt
Manhattan



Many NYPD employees are out of control. They have a license to kill and they've been using it for years. Haven't seen any k-9's in a while though. NYPD officers came into my house without a warrant looking for a relative who has not been at my house for years and they lied and said this relative used my address everytime they were arrested which was a lie since they have been arrested numerous times at ANOTHER address, which is documented. I asked to see a warrant. None shown. They were recorded and are being investigated now. One threatened to arrest ME for impersonating an officer because he saw my BADGE. I am a city employee. They checked my id's and moved on to ransacking my place. I was half naked. RIDICULOUS. I couldnt even go to work because I was very frantic and disturbed and maybe traumatized!

Amanda
Manhattan



First, lets forget about arrests and writing summons for broken window crimes. It be nice to see police act more courteous and professional by talking to people more politely, and maybe encouraging those people to seek social services that may be more helpful to them. Next, the police commissioner needs to have all officers retrained because it was disgusting to see a police sergeant just stand there and do nothing but watch officers act disrespectfully.

Kevin



Stop hiring 18 yr old kids from Long Island who live in places that have no diversity. Live in the city or don't be a cop. Hire kids graduating CUNY and offer them a bonus. Hire recruits from NYC who have grown up in diversity. You can't teach people street smarts. When cops have to make a quota arrest it's usually a bad arrest. This stuff happens all the time but the guy doesn't usually die. People have to learn to put there hands behind there back have a lawyers card in their pocket.

Kenny
Jackson Heights



I am an African American woman and I have stood on a different side of this debate before. However in this case what people are forgetting that while he was selling "loosies" the tobacco industry is a regulated industry. It is a health and hygienic issue. If by chance there is a faulty cigarette that makes someone sick he does not have the means or authority to solve those issues. Therefore I agree that he should have not resisted arrest and that he was breaking the law. While the police may have been more aggressive than necessary he would not have been in the position had he understood that he was at fault and not resisted arrest. Even better he could have stopped committing the crime dozens of offenses ago.

Anonymous



New York is not Mississippi, and without question, the ripple effect of unlawful procedures taken before and after the Eric Garner incident will have an impact on other cities and states, as well. We set the standards in New York City, for other cities in this nation, it will undoubtedly create fallout between many police officers who need to work together, and we can’t afford any more casualties.

Anonymous



As an African- American woman I am disgusted with this Country, NYPD and the Mayor and Commissioner- ALL OF THEM ARE RACISTS! this has nothing to do with training we as a people have put up with this CRAP long enough! THIS IS MURDER ALL COPS INVOLVED SHOULD BE FIRED , NO PENSIONS AND INCARCERATED LIKE ANYONE ELSE! FYI- WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD OF A AFRICAN- AMERICAN COP KILLING A WHITE MAN!!!!! A LIFE FOR A LIFE!!!!!!!

Monique



As a friend of Ramarley Graham's sister, I must say that the NYPD has gotten out of control. Unarmed individuals are dying when they DONT have to. The commissioner gives a very non Chalant attitude and shows no sense of urgency. I don't understand how the executive branch of government can continue to break laws when their job is to enforce the law. And the punishment for contributing to someone's death is staying home with their families ? But Eric Garner can't be at home with his.

Rondail
Washington Heights



The cops killing that African American in a choke hold is a very malevolent move that the cop did. In my opinion, I think the cop(s) that killed him should get charges against him. I am sick and tired of the radical prejudice system. It does not matter that they have a uniform on, there are malevolent cops that do evil actions and no charges are pressed against them because they have a uniform. I know he was a big guy, but why do cops always call for back up? I notice that one of the cops was scared to approach him and they handled the situation with several cops choking him. First off, he stopped a fight , I guess it isn't Justice to stop a fight anymore ? Second, he said he couldn't breathe and the fact that he had asthma, makes the situation even worse, they stereotype minorities because they think that whatever language comes out of their mouths , it must mean "f*ck the police" but no, he was actually screaming because he couldn't breathe and now, he is dead. Not all cops are evil, but the malevolent cops always get away through trouble. Even your channel just said that choke holds aren't allowed in the NYPD force. Lastly, if police enforcements keep it up with this intolerant behavior, this will make citizens become more monarchy!

Anonymous



No one seems to be able to answer this question, how do you hand cuff a 400lb person on that; does not want to be hand cuffed?

Anonymous



I think it's wrong for the media to make this racial, what happened was the Police couldn't deter the man from that corner, weather it was a processing problem. The man was convicted 42 times and kept on going to the same spot. I live in Jersey and that would never happen. Police would put the man in a mental health center.

Joe
New Jersey



What they did was not the way i thought they handled it they killed that man with out garner touching him the cop touched him first to me that was illegal.

Julio



This is sad but you need to hire more people that live in these communities. Cops are not part of the community they service and this is part if the problem. We need to hold all our politicians accountable. They do nothing to bring change to this problem. Especially the ones if color like our speaker.

Raymond



I dont believe this situation calls for all police officers to be retrained. To my understanding the police are trained already, Following what they are trained to do is the problem. I dont think all police officers should be blamed or put through more training if they never had a problem in the past or violated policy's or How they treat the public. I say single out the police who have had a history with not following policys or who have complaints against them investigate them and deal with each one as needed. This is a tragic situation the police reacted with force because of a choice they made. I know in some cases you dont have a choice as a police officer if your life in threatened you dont have a option this wasnt the case. Eric Garner posed no threat and after laying lifeless had no aid from police or ems it is a real shame.

Kelly



I don't think training is the issue. There's no way to train a person not to hate. You can't train an intolerant person to be tolerant. The best thing I can think of is to come up with a method to prevent people like this from becoming cops in the first place.

Atiba
Jamaica



I think the police need to be retrained in public relations, especially in urban areas they are here to protect and serve not kill at will it did not take 17 officers to jump on one man because they thought he was selling untaxed cigarettes.. A changed has to be made.

Anonymous



What about cultural sensitivity training? Standing on the corner dose not mean someone is doing something wrong. I live in BedStuy Bklyn; since gentrification has started, I have never seen so many police in the neighborhood. With that being said, NYPD are harassing the young and old. They are throwing these young kids up against walls etc. the list doesn't stop

Tami
Brooklyn



I believe ultimately, what we saw was a glimpse into the pervasive attutide that exist throughout the rank and file with in the NYPD. And I'd have to say, can you blame them, when you consider the consequences they face via CCRB, even when a wrong is substantiated, there is minimal consequences!

Thomas



The police officers in NYC are murderers ..everyone in the scene must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law .Eric was a decent family from a religious home ..he was not just a big black man this man left his children wide and grandchild ..I will March until this stops today.

Bren



I agree with the officer who call earlier. It came from the chief and down.
In oder for a captain to get promoted he or she will have to show at compstats that his or her precinct generate certain amount of summons and arrests.. the more the better. If the arrest numbers or arrest doesn't go up. The Chiefs embarrass the captains. So therefore when they go back to the precinct, he or she will call thier lieutenant and tell them to put pressure on the sergeant so the the sergeant put pressure on the police officers to provide more summons and arrest.

Anonymous



I am so sorry about the lost of Eric Garner, however we have to point fingers at both parties. He should of never resisted!!

Latisha



This is a crying shame what happened to Eric Garner.This man was not threatening, not violent, and not aggressive! Why did they have to knock him down.They should have just cuffed him.

Johnny



Please note the victim was deny medical help .They ignore his help for he complain he is out of breath.

Anonymous


Mr. Garner use to live in Gowanus Houses. His mother was the Director of Bethel Baptist DayCare where all of my children attended.
The NYPD (especially the 76th Pct. And PSA1) in my area practices EXCESSIVE FORCE regularly here. The plain cloths officers actually stop pedestrians, search them and literally take (MONEY) from their pockets and then release them. I've seen this first hand because it happened to my child. They give out hundreds of trespassing tickets to young BLACK men that LIVE in this area, when they see their address on their ID and know they live here. Mr. Garner is no longer with his loved ones because POLICE think their above GOD, and they NEVER have to answer for THEIR CRIMES and there's MANY MANY OF CRIMES THEY COMMIT.

Paula

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