Excessive Force Compliance: A Scene Analysis

Decent Essays
Travis A. Greene
Josh Lindsay
Piedmont Technical College
April 24, 2017

Excessive Force or Noncompliance

On July 17, 2014 history was made when Eric Garner, 43 years-old who died while in a headlock by a New York Police Department officer, and several other officers on his back for supposedly selling unlicensed cigarettes on a store-front. Mr. Garner was approached by a plain clothes officers, later identified as Officers Daniel Pantaleo and Justin Damico.
The bystanders and store owners’ stories were collaborative, that neither officer identified themselves as police until after trying to put Mr. Garner on the ground. During the brief struggle, you can hear Mr. Garner pleading with officers “I CAN’T BREATHE,” to be ignored
…show more content…
Garner, could have not resulted in a homicide if several things were not done of different approaches were taken. If the officers were responding to a fight in progress, they should have been able to corroborate Mr. Garner’s story that he was not involved in the fight, and he did indeed break up a fight at that location. Secondly, after having several persons on the scene telling the officers that Garner wasn’t involved in the fight, they quickly switched the reasoning to suspicion of selling unlicensed cigarettes. Only, to have that uncorroborated by witness on the scene. Third, the officers never told Garner he was being detained or under arrest; the officers didn’t even say he was under arrest when placing him in chokehold. Fourth, Garner pleads for his life to officers that he could not breathe and officers ignored him and increased the level of force to detain him.
The incident, then, was a clear instance of the broader problem of police brutality and how police fail to use discretion with force. Moreover, there is reason to believe that the death of Eric Garner may well be simply the latest incident of a broader pattern of deviance and use of excessive force by the New York police. For example, “although chokeholds have been banned in New York City for over two decades, there have still been countless public complaints against police using chokeholds over the past several years.” (see Goodman and Gonzalez). (NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board
…show more content…
DANZIGER, J.S.C. "Ragland V City of New York :: 2014 :: New York Other Courts Decisions :: New York Case Law :: New York Law :: U.S. Law :: Justia." Justia Law, Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.
NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board. A Matured Rule: Lack of Enforcement in the Face of Persistent Chokehold Complaints in New York City. NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, 2014. Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.
Orta, Ramsey. Eric Garner Choking Death., Time Magazine, 14 Dec. 2014,
Papa, Juliet. "Eric Garner Case Reaction from New York City Mayor Riles Police Union - CBS News." CBS News - Breaking News, Live News Stream 24x7, CBS News, 4 Dec. 2014, Accessed 26 Apr. 2017.
Vorhees, Josh. "Daniel Pantaleo Not Indicted: Why the NYPD Officer Wasn’t Indicted in the Chokehold Death of Eric Garner." Of Course it Happened Again, Slate Magazine, 3 Dec. 2014, Accessed 24 Apr.
Get Access