No indictment, no surprise

Once again, a grand jury did not indict a police officer in the death of a person who died because of their actions.  Once again, I’m not surprised and nobody else should be either.

I understand the arguments about the incident with Eric Garner being videotaped and all.  However, it is a rare thing indeed for a police officer to get indicted for use of force actions by a state or local grand jury. Remember, Rodney King’s run in with LAPD was videotaped and broadcast millions of times, yet the officers were acquitted by a jury in Simi Valley.

If the actions taken by an officer can fall under the guidelines of them performing their duty, then it’s going to be hard to see them get indicted.  The use of force would have to be so excessive that even Satan himself would appear and show solidarity with the victim.

When officers get indicted, it’s usually for accepting bribes, embezzlement, or some other crime.

The cases involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner were not the first nor will they be the last of these kinds of cases.  That’s the truth of the matter.  No bull.  No chaser.  That’s why I wasn’t surprised when the grand jury decided to not indict the officer involved with the death of Garner.

You can even throw race out the door as well.  Racial bias may be a contributing factor in the escalation of the encounter, but I don’t think it has any bearing on the outcome of the juries.

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6 thoughts on “No indictment, no surprise

  1. Sounds like use of force rules need to be tightened. Even heard Charles Krauthammer and Steve Hayes express surprise tonight that there wasn’t a charge of at least manslaughter.

    • We’ve been going through training recently to reflect changes in case law. What’s astonishing to me is that Missouri use of force law is outdated and parts are unconstitutional, and I have yet to hear that from any of the talking heads.

      I imagine that NYPD is up to date on their policy, given the size and nature of what they handle. I know some retired NYPD officers, and they’re all good guys.

  2. I’m no lawyer but I think one thing people overlook that plays into these things is intent. I seriously doubt any of these encounters started with the officer intending to kill somebody. When the shit hits the fan, though, things happen and they happen fast. It only takes a few seconds for things to get out of hand and for things to get past the point of no return.

    The best way to stay out of trouble is to stay out of places and situations where trouble occurs. Once things start happening, it’s usually too late to do anything about it and people are just along for the ride; swept up in emotion and adrenaline.

    I wasn’t surprised that there was no indictment in Missouri, and given the evidence that I’ve seen, I understand it. Not as familiar with this NYC case but I thought there would be something on a lesser charge (manslaughter, etc). The one I’m really interested to see is the one in Cleveland with the 12 year old boy. From what I understand, that one happened way too fast. Unless there’s something I don’t know, I think that one shouldn’t have happened.

    All that being said, I still hate seeing these things tried in the media. You get your people on both sides who profit from the uproar and they milk it for all it’s worth. Journalism is in a hell of a mess, like a lot of other things.

    • Intent plays a major role from my perspective. If the officer is being charged with murder, then there has to be three criteria that have to be met. They’re means, opportunity, and intent. The means and opportunity is met in both cases, but the intent can’t be proven.

      It’s hard watching these things play out in the media for me, especially since I have interests in both communities. I hate to see things get overblown, but I also don’t want crooked cops getting off just because they’re an officer.

      I watched the video of the Cleveland incident, and I’m with you in that things unfolded very fast. I see lots wrong with that situation, but I’m going to refrain from saying anything because I’ve been called angry for voicing my views on the Ferguson case.

      • Since I posted this AM, I have seen the video of the NYC incident. I don’t think it was murder but it definitely didn’t have to happen the way it did. True the victim was a big man but you can take down a big person by using their own weight against them, if you know what you’re doing, without using a choke hold. I would think big city cops would have been trained how to do that but maybe not.

        Still haven’t seen the Cleveland one and to be honest I don’t really want to (as I’ve said before, I’ve already seen enough people shot to have my fill) but it takes a least a few seconds to tell somebody to put a gun down, have them process that and then react, even if everything goes perfectly. Hate to speculate but my guess is that somebody panicked.

        • I can’t answer for others, but we try to train for any and all contingencies. We have approved holds and take downs that we can apply if needed. If a person is physically threatening you, then the goal is to go home to the family at the end of the day. At the same time, we’re not out to physically and/or brutally punish anyone. We’re constantly warned that using unapproved techniques can leave us to fight on our own without agency assistance because of that.

          I’m trying to not pontificate on Cleveland as I see a host of issues, some of which the Justice Dept has touched on this week.

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