Why a Medical Examiner Called Eric Garner’s Death a ‘Homicide’

by gradycarter

Even though there has been a lot of ambiguity in some of these cases of about police brutality against African American males, there is hardly any wiggle room as far as the law should be concerned in this case. Also, the law states that police are not to use choke holds to restrain citizens, especially for petty crimes. These more clearly defined cases are the kinds of stories that we should be discussing. This officer broke the law, and something bad happened because of it – and he was let off. I feel personal insult as I hear about this case, because this was a human, and partial justice is not justice.


New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner on July 17 when he grabbed him by the neck and, with other officers, threw him to the ground and pinned him there. But did he commit homicide? And if so, was it a crime?

Everyone from Charles Barkley to Judge Andrew Napolitano has weighed in with an opinion on the matter. The resulting confusion has the potential to take the hard, painful question of equal justice in America and make it harder and more painful.

The key to clearing up the confusion is to understand the difference between two uses of the word “homicide” and to focus not on the medical cause of Garner’s death but on Pantaleo’s behavior.

On Aug. 1, a New York City medical examiner determined that the cause of death in the Garner case was “homicide,” specifically the neck compressions from the Pantaleo’s chokehold and…

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