Monday, November 07, 2016
The AG is still going after "racist" cops
What does one do when a Staten Island grand jury refuses to indict white NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for criminal wrongdoing in the chokehold-death case of black American Eric Garner — and NY-based FBI agents agree with that assessment? If you’re United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, you take the Eastern District of New York crew off the case and reassign it to the racialist ideologues in the DOJ’s civil rights division who want Pantaleo criminally charged.
“We already … came to a conclusion which they didn’t like,” one insider said of the upcoming indictment. “It’s truly disgraceful what they’re doing.” NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch was equally irate, accusing the DOJ of conducting a “fishing expedition” following two decisions that were not to the agency’s liking. “Now it appears that they are taking a third bite at the apple in an effort to reach a predetermined outcome,” he fumed.
Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island man, died when he resisted arrest during a confrontation with police called to the scene by local shop owners who complained because Garner was selling “loosies,” or individual cigarettes, in front of their shops, a violation of New York law. When Garner resisted, four officers, including Pantaleo, attempted to take him down. Even when Garner was on all fours officers were unable to cuff him, thus they attempted to gain leverage as they are trained to do. It was then that Pantaleo put his arm around Garner’s neck. During the ongoing struggle Garner insisted, “I can’t breathe,” 11 times. After he was taken into custody, Garner died of cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital.
The Medical Examiner report ruled Garner died as a result of “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” It further explained that acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and heart disease were contributing factors, due in large part to the reality that Garner weighed more than 350 pounds.
The entire incident was captured on a cellphone video taken by Ramsey Orta, sparking major protests alleging police brutality and racism, despite the fact black female sergeant Kizzy Adonis was in charge of overseeing the July 2014 arrest. Last January, Adonis was stripped of her gun and badge after an NYPD internal report charged her with failure to supervise.
In order to convict Pantaleo of murder, on modified desk duty since Garner’s death, the grand jury would have had to prove the police officer was intentionally trying to kill Garner. Manslaughter charges would require the conclusion Pantaleo was aware that he could seriously injure Garner and proceeded regardless. Negligent homicide would require reaching the conclusion Pantaleo’s behavior was a gross departure from standard arrest procedures.
All of the other officers at the scene were offered immunity to testify before the 23-member grand jury that included nine non-white jurors. During the hearing that included testimony not made public, Pantaleo insisted he never intended to harm anyone, asserting he joined the NYPD to “help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.” He added, “It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
After the grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo then-Attorney General Eric Holder promised the DOJ would conduct a full investigation. “Mr. Garner’s death is one of several recent incidents across the country that have tested the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they are charged to serve and protect,” Holder said at the time. “This is not a New York issue or a Ferguson issue alone.”
It was not a “Ferguson issue” at all, and Holder’s attempt to link one incident with the other is indicative of the racialist mindset that infected the DOJ during his tenure. A racialist mindset that apparently remains intact enough to replace the New York FBI agents who have been investigating the case with agents from outside the city, according to five federal officials in New York and Washington.
Unsurprisingly, New York’s hard-left Mayor Bill de Blasio was ecstatic with the latest turn of events. “I’m sure [Loretta Lynch] has her reasons for what she’s done, and our message to her is we will cooperate in any way she asks,” de Blasio told reporters. “I think everyone wants to see things move speedily, but I respect her decision, certainly.”
A federal source familiar with the case begged to differ, stating, “Yet another example of our racially charged mayor ignoring the facts, our initial investigation and now turning his back on hard-working federal law-enforcement officers, as he’s done with the men and women of the NYPD.”
One of Officer Pantaleo’s lawyers, Stuart London, puts Lynch’s dubious maneuver in the proper perspective. “If it is true that the Justice Department is rejecting the recommendations of seasoned FBI agents and assistant United States attorneys, this is a gross miscarriage of justice,” he stated. “In our system of justice, politics should never take the place of the rule of law.”
And the FBI should never destroy evidence or purposely ignore it in the Clinton email case, and Loretta Lynch should have never met with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac while his wife was under investigation. But that’s the nation we currently live in, one where politics has most definitely supplanted Rule of Law within one of the most corrupt administrations in the nation’s history. One that seeks an indictment against a police officer to “appease this angry mob of demonstrators,” said a federal source.
As of now, evidence has been presented to a grand jury that has yet to vote on it. If they move forward with an indictment, it is likely the disagreement between federal officials in New York and Washington will be put front and center.
It cannot be emphasized enough that while the presidential election is about many things, preserving Rule of Law is the most important. The election of Hillary Clinton would be seen as many things, but first and foremost it would be seen as the electorate’s endorsement of the wholesale corruption evinced by the nation’s highest law enforcement agencies. Donald Trump is a highly flawed candidate, but there is a gargantuan difference between electing a president who might be problematic, and electing one with a demonstrated track record of malfeasance and utter contempt for national security.
Columnist Debra J. Saunders notes the contemptible double-standard that currently exists. “The bar is so unreasonably high there is no way prosecutors can establish if Clinton meant to break the law, but the Justice Department has few qualms about presuming the worst about beat cops,” she writes.
Obviously, the stunning announcement the FBI is re-opening an investigation they never should have closed might have altered that equation — if the nation’s thoroughly compromised attorney general applied the same standard of justice to presidential candidates and beat cops alike. As USA Today revealed, Lynch objected to FBI Director James Comey notifying Congress about the latest developments.
Prediction: Pantaleo gets indicted, Clinton doesn’t, and the double-standard survives — as long as Lynch remains in charge of the DOJ.
Original report here
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Posted by bussorah at 4:24 AM