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The Call Blog: Garner Family Meets With Feds; Staten Island Businesses Prepare for Rally

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I believe both police officers and civilians would benefit from the pilot program that the public advocate is pushing. It will give a clear and objective account of all police interactions and cut out the "He said, she said".

As for the Staten Island rally and march on Saturday, I believe it's really up to the business owners on whether to close or not. I don't believe the situation will get violent and out-of-hand as it has in Ferguson, Missouri, but like some of our viewers said tonight, emotions may stir up with a large crowd, which is expected.

Your thoughts and comments are posted below.



The family of the Staten Island man who died after an attempted police arrest is personally asking federal prosecutors to look into the case. The wife and mother of Eric Garner joined the Rev. Al Sharpton in a private meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn today. It comes two days after the Staten Island District Attorney said he would bring the case before a grand jury to determine any criminal charges in the case sometime next month.

Sharpton and others are organizing a march on Saturday on Staten Island in support of an indictment in the case. Although organizers have vowed the rally will be peaceful, several local businesses say they’ll close up shop, with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce warning, “there is no guarantee that everyone in attendance will act sensibly.”

Meanwhile, the Public Advocate once again made the case to equip NYPD officers with body cameras to record civilian stops. Letitia James demonstrated the use of two types of cameras that can record both audio and video, and store up to 54 hours of video. Each camera weighs approximately three ounces and will have an unique ID. The calls for the use of body cameras have grown in wake of Garner’s attempted arrest, which was captured on cell phone video.

Do you think equipping police officers with body cameras is a good idea? Will these three-ounce devices hinder cops from doing their jobs? Do you want federal prosecutors to investigate Eric Garner’s death? What’s your reaction that businesses on Staten Island’s North Shore are closing during Saturday’s rally to avoid potential chaos and violence?

Reply with your thoughts using the link above.



I want Sharpton to go away. And Mike Mulgrew to resign as UFT REP.

Claudia



The federal government is welcome to investigate, but I wish that those advocating this course as some kind of solution would make it clear to the public that for a federal prosecution to take place, they must be able to prove -- PROVE -- in a court of law that there was intent on the part of the officers to deprive the so-called victim of his civil rights. And absent some kind of conspiracy, that's almost impossible to prove.

Of course, that could all be just fine in the eyes of Mr. Sharpton and the professional rabble-rousers and cop-haters on the City Council and elsewhere, as it would fit into their narrative that white people just can't be trusted.

And as a backdrop to this, of course, is the fact that people are killed every week in this city in acts of violence of all sorts that must be just peachy in the eyes of the Justice Department, since they're mostly victims of black-on-black crime, and no one calls for federal involvement there (not that there could be -- we all know that the only racial violence in this world is whites killing blacks, not blacks killing whites, or blacks killing blacks . . . . )

Bruce
Upper West Side



The death of Mr. Garner should be investigated by all government agencies which have the authority to do so. Re cameras, I'm positive that Police Union President Pat Lynch has hired someone to figure out how to equip the cameras with video mute button.

Joe
Port Richmond



Just knowing the criminal background of Sharpton. How does he continue to be front and center at this meeting. What happened to the Mayor and the Police Commissioner? Why are they not there and some of the Mayor's administration staff are not even going to march. So how does Sharpton end up taking over? So yesterday I was under the impression that the joint session of all the clergymen were suppose to concur this together. Also of that was the most ridiculous get together = it seemed so foolish and even more so now because all it did was to give Sharpton more power. He and any others need to stop calling names.
I go along with the S.I. Chamber of commerce to have the store owners close when they march.

Maxxiee
Morris Park



The cameras are an excellent idea & will be an effective solution in lowering police brutality, as physical force by cops in Rialto Ca., has dropped 60% due to cops wearing cameras. In the Eric Garner death via cop, what is there to investigate, the whole world saw the cop commit homicide according to the NY Medical Examiner. How will closing up businesses in Staten Island avoid potential chaos & violence? At this point there is no reason for violence & there will be none!

Joyce
Springfield Gardens



Very happy to know businesses will close cause those protesters most time cause trouble and behave disgraceful. Yet I would like to see police early as 5 am on the road to protect workers who leave early for work. Where are the police, they should be proforming their duty not sleeping.

Anonymous



Fedreal prosecutors should investigate the death of Mr. Garner by the NYPD and the thoughtless EMT workers that did nothing to help Mr Garner when he said he couldn't breathe after the racist officer put him in a chokehold, #99 knew the NYPD abolished the chokehold but he did it anyway they all should be in jail. I hope there wont be any violence at the rally on Saturday, we all want justice for Mr Brown and Mr Garner i hope everyone that attends the rally marches in peace with the honorable Rev. Sharpton. The Police officers should have body cams that can't erase anything because if they do the wrong thing to a minority citizen it would be on tape and they'll be put in jail. God bless the Brown and Garner family i'll pray for yall, RACISM HAVE TO STOP THIS IS 2014

Herman
Upper West Side



Here is what I think. With the legalization of marihuana we will be seeing athletes high during games, using it for concussions, and lastly people not having faith in their local law enforcement officers who they have no respect for in the first place. Unfortunate that people die during arrests, but those instigators do not help matters. Check Sharpton's taxes and have him arrested for income tax evasion or would that be considered racial profiling.

Roscoe,
Park Hill



Yes the feds should get involed with the eric garner case now.

Epadilla
Far Rockaway



I think that we should hold marches throughout the five boroughs and even "nationwide" as it concerns that "crimes" that "we" as people of "color" commit amongst each other, instead of marching and protesting the killings done by the police. Rip my brothers "Garner" and "Brown". Black and Latino men should come together and march throughout our own "neighborhoods" as it concerns the murders we commit on each other. Remember the "million man march"? Think about that Brother Sharpton. All black and latino men need to take a stand and get our communities in check, first. Then the police will respect us! Respect for "self" comes "first"!

The march will be very "peaceful". Remember the "million march"? Staten Island is by far a predominately white borough. Blacks will be peaceful there for that reason. It's like we know the consequences of even "attempting" to go into a "predominately" and causing violence and destruction. We have a tendency of destroying our own community when it comes to violent protests, ie the L A riots.

Cameras? Right! The peoples version, police version, cameras version, then there's the truth!

Anonymous



With telling store owners to close for the March is like adding fire to the flame.

Anonymous



Was Garner's death a crime? I do not know. For I do not think we should all insist a Judge, and Jury find them guilty. As a retired law enforcement officer, I am glad to see PBA President Lynch publicly standing by his members who truly need him. I only wish COBA members had the same quality union President when they are faced with similar harsh criticism by the public.

Corey



If some thugs believe that the police will be hampered in their response to possible violence, etc., then there probably MIGHT be some violence and looting. It depends whether or not DeBlasio is strong enough to give warning, and then, if need be, enforce his warning.

Sal
Flushing



I think there should be a Federal investigation in the Eric Gardner death. Also I think the police should wear cameras.

Sarah



All of the businesses should have legal representation before the "peaceful" demonstration. If any of the businesses are destroyed or vandalized, they should sue Al Sharptown and his Black Action Network for damages and lost earnings.

Charles
Greenwich Village



I think it's disgraceful for local Staten Island businesses to shut down during the march. It show's that certain people on Staten Island are racist; it makes me worry whether Eric Garner's grand jury has already prejudged this case. God Bless the Garner family.

Kate
Midtown East



If I were a police officer today I would be very hesitant about arresting, or having any sort of confrontation with of person of color. I would turn the other way. With that said, I am very much in favor of police officers having video cameras so that criminals do not overrun the city.

Carol
Queens



Why doesn't every caller who's complaining about the police take the test to become a police officer and become a police officer . It's easy too judge them if you haven't walked in there shoes. Filming cops in action is fine......but film from at least 6 feet away. The cops jobs are hindered already. And body cameras won't show little things street cops pick up on such as microexpressions of the face and body movements. ....it will protect cops responding to 911 calls where it's clear why they are having an interaction with the public

Anonymous
Harlem



He resisted arrest. He's wrong. The cops are 100 percent right.

Brian



Lets remember correctly Daniel Pantaleo was not found guilty of any wrongdoing in those two suits. The city settled with the plaintiffs because it is cheaper to settle, than to have a case. Let's deal with facts.

Andre



the feds should monitor the case for now, and dist att donovan should stop dragging his feet. at this time the march is a bad idea. as for cams it is costly ms. james is just grand standing for the cameras. rev al as usual is grand standing.

Herb
Harlem



We must trust our public servants to do their jobs. No cameras.

Lenore



Pat lynch needs to acknowledge that a choke hold clearly occurred in the video, Eric garner supporters need to acknowledge that at no point did he put his hands behind his back and give himself up. The extremes on both sides need to come back to the middle.

It's not racist or indicative of a negative sentiment to close your store, it's validated precaution based on the current events of mostly peaceful protests in Ferguson where violence and looting has occurred.

Joseph
Staten Island



The cops should practice and follow the slogan that's written on the side of their cruiser which is abbreviated C.P.R. Which means Courtesy, Professionalism and respect. But, mostly the individuals that encounter the cops end up needing CPR.

Elvin



So much police business quickly gets swept under the rug..Staten island is a Police borough which is basically controlled by police and retired police in political positions..if there was anywhere the feds needs to be involved is in Staten island so this decision is fair..

Richard



I think people act oblivious to the truth. At the end of the day store and business owners have viable concerns. They don't know how people will respond but its not like looting and destruction of businesses has not occurred and is not currently occurring in Ferguson. All these people with their comments for the store owners will not donate a penny to rebuild these peoples business if something does go wrong. It is a valid concern and does not denote racism at all in my opinion. People should be marching not shopping so I am confused as to why this is even an issue.

Joy
Jamaica



I don't have concerns the March will have incidents. The planners and parents that are attending are not violent people nor is this a protest against police only corrupt police and the policies that allow this to continue. I would like your caller Kerrie from S.I. that the P.Officer that caused Mr. Garner's death didn't intentionally do this but after watching that officer waving and smiling into video camera as Garners body was being but in ambulance shows his total disregard for life.

Denise
Manhattan



New York Police need to do and learn community policing. They should nit be standing on the corners of Harlem starring ar people like their animals waiting for something to jump off. Mingle and get to know the people in the comunities they patrol. Black people are not animals.

Andrea
Harlem



Mr. Garner was not selling cigarettes that day. He didn't even have any cigarettes on him that day. He was being arrested for talking back to the cops. Trying to say he was tired of them coming up to him.

Just like the stop and frisk for all of you who condones people being walked p to and arrested for doing nothing wrong. They should stay over night in a jail cell without doing a crime.

If the cops came up to you would you ask them why you are being arrested for nothing?

Would you quietly allow yourself to have a criminal record would you quietly be yanked and humiliated and taken away in handcuffs?


He was know for selling cigarettes but he was not selling cigarettes that moment. We are still innocent until proven guilty in this country.

Valerie



The feds step in early on only if the state asks them to or later on if it appears that the state did not do justice. Since neither is the case yet give the Staten Island DA a chance to do his job.

Margot
Greenwich Village



The first and most important question is why did they have to choke , put their knees in his back and then hear him scream I can't breathe and not let him up there where more than enough cops that they didn't have to use that much force , he had no weapon the camera shows him not being aggressive yes he was wrong for selling cigarettes but they didn't have to kill him enough is enough they are killing our black man over and over the force they are using was not necessary at all we need justice for Garner and all the others they are killing for nothing if you commit a crime you pay but let the court and the judge make the penalty for the crime death is not the penalty for selling a cigarettes a sums or some type of imprisonment if it more than one time this was Murder clearly

Lavern



Delores & Kerri are all wrong a man was killed for selling cigarettes. If that's a crime. All corner stores in most neighborhoods should get arrested too, because they all sell loose cigarets. That's who was doing all the complaining

Aishah



The one thing I failed to mention when I was live on the air tonight on the Call was that in the video we see Officer Dan Pantaleo smiling and waving at the camera as if he was proud and happy about what he did. Notably, Pat Lynch also fails to make any mention of this.

George



With all this rhetoric going regarding the sad deaths of Eric Garner & Michael Brown, let's get the facts straight. Both men were committing crimes when there were altercations that unfortunately led to their deaths, The one thing that I learned early in my life on is to 1) obey the laws, and 2) do not come "close to the flame or your will get burned" -- Eric & Michael violated both of these caveats. It is sad that they both died, but when will Sharpton ever acknowledge that 70-80%+ of all crimes in NYC are committed by African Americans (as well as in the US overall), and both Mr. Garner & Mr. Brown resisted arrest and attacked the respective arresting officers. If Mr. Sharpton does not want his constituents to have problems with the law, he should then advocate that they steer clear of violating all laws. Again, 70-80% of all crimes in NYC are committed by African Americans, but never, never, never, has Sharpton ever told his constituents to abide by the law, get their acts under control, and then they wouldn't have any legal problems (or even worse). I have personally never violated any NYC law and have never been "bothered" in any way by a NYPD officer. But I do know and expect that I ever did, I would be arrested -- others should expect the same.

Ron

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