Eric Garner, Officer, Jim Dwyer discussed on Morning Edition
Two. Eric garner who had asthma died as a result of that encounter in column earlier this week Jim Dwyer of the New York Times report, many in the neighborhood where garner died believe his death won't lead to real change or lasting consequences with the police. He's been following the ongoing hearing and he joins me now. Jim wire, welcome to the news hour. Very briefly. If you can just lay out for us, what is it that both sides are arguing in this hearing? Well, it's an administrative hearing in the police departments on trial room. So they conduct disciplinary hearings and, and officer Pantaleo who's arresting officer sergeant who oversaw him are charged in pentlay case with using Joe, cold, recklessly and causing his death. Eric Garner's death is a result of that in the sergeant is accused of failing oversee him that offense saying Eric garner is very sick man yet as my hypertension wait almost four hundred pounds and his death was a result of. Essentially into contact that triggered this very ill man's fatal asthma attack. So it's an administrative hearing. It's not a criminal proceeding. What is the most serious consequence that could come for the officer officer Pantaleo as a result of this? Well, it's what the police department can do to him, which is fire him and. And the penalty that I think that's the top penalty, they may also cause him as part of that penalty to forfeit any accumulated vacation or sick time that he has, or it could go all the way down to a few days suspension or loss of time or if he's not found guilty. He would go back to work to. There could be no consequences. Result of this. Is that right? Well, if he's not found guilty. Sure. So the hearing we should notice the first time that the public has really been able to hear any key parts or accounts around Mr. Garner's death, and the process that followed it over the last five days, what new things have we learned from the hearing. A couple of things. One is that the city medical examiner found out the injuries on Mr. Garner's neck on the tissue inside of it showed that there had been a choke holders injuries to four layers, according to the medical examiner, and they showed some photographs of that, and it was this, that triggered Garner's asthma attack that caused his death. That was one thing that came out another thing that came out just today was very interesting. That when Mr. garner was in the ambulance and either dead or very near death hit the officers partner took it on himself to write up the arrest form charging, Mr. garner with the felony sale and distribution of untaxed unlicensed cigarettes. Now, he claimed that garner had ten thousand cigarettes, in fact, garner as the officer admitted today, only had five packs of. Cigarettes with him. So there was an effort, apparently from this testimony to dress up the story to make garner seem to have been doing something more serious than selling a few individuals cigarettes. There was also a text message exchange that was revealed in which one of the lower ranking officers was communicating with a higher supervisor, and that to provider wrote back to him to say, not a big deal when we're ferring to Eric garner potentially dying as a result of that encounter. How did that go over in the hearing? Well, people were shocked when particularly the garner family members and friends who were there, and it was a startling startling statement, the officer Lieutenant through is representatives union representatives said that he was merely trying to comfort his subordinates who were upset about this. But in a way, the Lieutenant was actually, right? It has not been a big deal where five years on. There has been no criminal charges. Brought against anyone involved in this terrible event. There's a state grand jury in Staten Island. They voted not to charge anyone federal grand jury sitting in Brooklyn with civil rights, prosecutors from Washington involved. They have not yet released anything but at this point, it's quite unlikely as the statute of limitations runs out on the fifth anniversary of the crime, which sorry of the death July. Seventeenth of this summer. Jim, you've been talking to people in that neighborhood five years on now this one video this one. Encounter sparked a national movement, sparked national attention to an issue that had been long going on in terms of law enforcement, and how they can sometimes mistreat people in poor and minority neighborhoods. The black lives matter movement was sparked as a result of this. What do you think the impact will be if there is no consequence as a result of this hearing? I think people were already very upset when it came out that the local grand jury in the state grand jury wasn't going to charge him. And actually they were significant protests in the streets of New York when that happened about two years ago or so. And I expect that if the. The board here, the here, the trial board decides that anyone was guilty or not guilty. The reaction is going to be almost perhaps a shrug of the shoulders because this is something don't expect much of at all something, we'll have to follow. The trial has been delayed it will pick up again soon. But Jim Dwyer of the New York Times, we'll have to leave it there. Thank you very much for your time. Sure thing. Our special series on rethinking.