It also may have killed Eric Garner. By Justin Peters
In the ’90s, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton presided over a surge in petty-crime law enforcement on the theory that vigorously enforcing the small laws in some way dissuades or prevents people from breaking the big ones. There’s little evidence that theory is correct.
On July 17, 2014, an unarmed 43-year-old black man named Eric Garner was standing near the Staten Island Ferry dock when he was approached by several police officers. The cops suspected that Garner was selling untaxed cigarettes. A struggle ensued, and an officer named Daniel Pantaleo put Garner in a chokehold. Garner died, and the New York City medical examiner eventually ruled it a homicide. But on Wednesday afternoon, a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.