With #EricGarner and #ICantBreathe still trending and protests taking place five days in a row, the outrage over the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo over the choking death of Eric Garner is not going away anytime soon. And just as important, the anger over this decision is being shared by people on both ends of the political spectrum.
Following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, there were many on the conservative side who thought there was justification for Darren Wilson’s violent response. In this case, with the chokehold caught on tape, and executed over the minor accusation that Garner was selling loose cigarettes, the uproar is universal.
“From looking at the video, the grand jury’s decision here is totally incomprehensible,” said Charles Krauthammer, a Fox News correspondent.
That video is one of the big reasons that conservatives are angry. Another, they blame the government for having laws that would make the selling of loose cigarettes an offense. Not only did another conservative pundit, Dana Loesch, call it the byproduct of the #NannyStateEnforcement, Sen. Rand Paul, Republican from Kentucky and probable 2016 presidential candidate, says the cigarette tax is the problem. Let’s save the tax talk for another time Sen. Paul. But his opposition is well-placed.
“I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes. So they’ve driven cigarettes underground so as not to make them so expensive,” he told CNN.
The New York Police Department has launched a pilot body-camera project in three precincts. Fast Company has a summary of how it will work, noting that the files are downloaded at the end of an officer’s shift and are encrypted, meaning no one can view or tamper with the video unless they have permission to do so from the NYPD.