Last night, Erica Garner told Don Lemon on CNN that she didn’t really think the issue is race. To her, it looked like the NYPD officer who killed her father wanted to prove he could take down a “big guy.”
To me, it boils down to one fundamental conflict in our society.
A significant segment of our population (including those in uniform and civilians) truly believe that regardless of the specifics:
Black or White
Innocent or Guilty
Armed or Unarmed
Young or Old
Able to comply or Disabled
If you show someone in law enforcement ANY amount of disrespect, or refuse to comply with ANY of their commands, then you basically choose to put yourself in harm’s way. If you die as a result, there is no such thing as excessive force or blame for the officer who was doing his job.
Those of us who do not believe this to be true, who hope for a less militarized police force, and who understand that a badge does not provide immunity from accountability are finally standing up. There are good cops out there, and they know that their jobs require a great deal of finesse and talent rather than brute force and bullying.