It’s not exactly a secret that in the United States, citizens of color are stigmatized, forced into an unspoken second class and targeted by the police simply because of their skin color.
Eric Garner is just one of the many African-American and Latino men who have been targeted and killed because of who they are. But his name, along with a few other names, have become synonymous with police brutality.
Earlier today, a judge recommended that Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer accused of putting an illegal choke hold on Mr. Garner, should be fired.
I agree that Officer Pantaleo should be fired. Some may argue that he should not be fired. They will probably state that Mr. Garner already had a record and health issues, which is undisputed fact. However, even with those facts, the response by the officers could have been different. Officer Pantaleo, as I see it, was far too aggressive. Mr. Garner didn’t have to die that day.
Officer Pantaleo’s fate is now in the hands of the police commissioner. Commissioner O’Neill should not only fire Officer Pantaleo, he should use the firing as an example to the rest of the force. This kind of behavior is unacceptable. If a member of the NYPD reacts as Office Pantaleo did, they will be prosecuted.
May Mr. Garner’s memory be a blessing to his family and a reminder that the ideal of true racial equality in this country is still just an ideal.