Ep. 80 - When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression


No single case in modern american history shows just how hard justices to come by for black families impacted by police violence and the brutal public lynching of eric garner yesterday the officer responsible for this murder was fired which his injustice it's barely even in the ballpark of justice but still police unions furious and white police officers all over the department are outraged in donors of now given over one hundred thousand dollars to support the officer who murdered eric garner. I think it's all a metaphor four for exactly where we are as a country right now. Let's dig in. Let me break it down. This is sean. Kane and you're listening to the the breakdown down the breakdown a breakdown over five years ago on july seventeenth twenty fourteen on a hot summer summer morning in staten island new york n._y._p._d. Officer daniel pantaleo brutally murdered eric garner who was a beloved son husband husband father grandfather and murdered eric in broad daylight while being filmed surrounded by eye-witnesses witnesses yesterday after five years it it hurts me to even say that five years of deliberate liberate delays officer daniel pantaleo was finally fired from the force now. That's not justice. Pantaleo literally should would have been fired the day this happened or at least the week this happened or the month this happened and that should have been step one for the family of eric garner but here's what i know and it really hasn't gotten talked about very much. Officers get fired from the n._y._p._d. Every single month and hundreds of officers get fired every year in when they get fired. It's rarely for something that happened five years ago or even five months ago officers routinely get fired for falling asleep on the job. They routinely get fired for lying about overtime for falsifying paperwork and a long list of other offenses but the n._y._p._d. Just could not bring themselves the fire officer daniel pantaleo and yesterday during two different press conferences. We really learned why let me break it down with a quick break their first n._y._p._d. Police commissioner james o'neill he had a press conference yesterday and we already understood what he was going to announce we at least knew he was going to make an announcement about this case emerald garner the daughter of eric garner call me early yesterday today morning and let me know that her family had already been told that an announcement was coming down and that he would be making the announcement. I himself i and james o'neill he had his press conference where he eventually did announce his decision to fire daniel pantaleo but before he made made the announcement he gave about fifteen minutes of excuses for why the decision was still so amazingly hard art for him and on one hand. That's not a surprise because clearly if it took you five years to make this decision clearly you're struggling but it was disgusting to hear him. Say just how difficult of a decision it was for him and i wanna play you just a a short clip from his announcement and it's one of those both sides types of moments that people seem to feel really pressured to make in two thousand nineteen like he really through eric garner under the bus for most of his announcement. Most most of the announcement was not about officer daniel pantaleo. It was about how problematic in disturbed he was by the actions of eric garner and i just want to play a clip of his announcement because what he tried to do was to make it seem like what eric garner did that morning in what daniel pantaleo did with somehow equal and they damn sure let me play the clip for several minutes on that widely viewed video. Mr garner makes it abundantly clear that he will not go willingly with the police officers refused to cooperate with the arrest and to comply with law florida's. The video also makes clear it offers officer pantaleo original efforts to take mr garner into custody appropriate. The one believes that officer officer pantaleo get out of bed on july seventeenth two thousand fourteen thinking he would make choices and take actions during an otherwise routine arrests that lead to another a person's test but an office choices and actions even made under extreme pressure matter is unlikely that mr garner thought he was in such such poor health at a brief struggle with police would cause his death over and over and over again commissioner o.'neil blame the entire aaron counter on eric garner on him allegedly selling a single cigarette to a man he blamed it on him having asthma on eric eric garner resisting arrest but the truth is that the police were actually call to that corner not because somebody saw eric garner selling a cigarette cigarette which doesn't bother anybody but police were called because a fight had broken out there and eric garner was actually the peacemaker who broke broke that fight up but police commissioner neil he left that out he never mentioned he left out that air garner had already filed multiple complaints against n._y._p._d. For their repeated harassment of him all over new york including one humiliating complaint where they strip searched him and made him take off his pants in his underwear in public just to degrade him. That's what we really witnessed on. That video was a man who had been harassed by police his entire life in o.'neil. He left all of that out. He left out. How eric garner was unarmed. Non-violent had never said a single cuss word raised his voice in the entire encounter. He left all of that out. Eric garner didn't cause this the n._y._p._d. I pee dee caused this in. They caused it with their desire to confront in arrest man who had literally just broken up the fight he had literally just helped that community but because the n._y._p._d. Refused to see that and refused to see the eric garner is fully human that day they literally treated him in that moment like he was the criminal they came there to confront and and i was furious not just to hear all of the excuses that the commissioner made but he said something in particular that i just can't let go. He said one line that stuck out for me and i just can't get past it. Commissioner o'neill said that if he was just an everyday officer sir on the force for the n._y._p._d. Instead of the boss instead of the commissioner that he would be mad at officer daya pantaleo was being fired or he would be the angry about it and that's very telling because daniel pantaleo clearly violated department policy and and eventually in his announcement o.'neil made clear that day oh pantaleo violated multiple policies and had multiple opportunities to turn around around to let go of the chokehold and even when he could have let go refused to do so so how are you mad that an officer officer who violated one of your own policies that cost a man his life. How are you mad that he got fired. You can be mad when you know let me let me answer my own question. You can be mad when you think the rules don't don't actually apply to you you can be mad when you think you're only an enforcer of the rules but don't have to abide by them yourself and there's a quote and i wish that i knew who the originator of this court was because i think it's one of the most important brilliant quotes of the past few years and i think it's it's particularly appropriate in this situation. The quote says when you are accustomed to privilege equality feels like geico pressure when you are accustomed to privilege equality feels like oppression and n._y._p._d. Officers particularly we white n._y._p._d. Officers are so accustomed to privilege that win. A family gets an ever so so tiny little sliver of justice five years after this should have gotten it five years after their loved one was murdered the n._y._p._d. Still thinks that they are being oppressed because they didn't get away with violating a policy on camera seen by witnesses in broad daylight that gotta man killed that just a little tiny bit of justice makes them feel wronged and that is proof of privilege. That's what privileges because when you are accustomed to privilege just the little shadow of equality feels like oppression and nobody a show that more yesterday than n._y._p._d. Union boss pat lynch and i don't say this lightly was one of the most evil leaders in america who got got on the mike yesterday and never even mentioned the losses of the garner family never mentioned that a man was murdered never mentioned that that man's daughter died pursuing justice for her father pat lich got on the mic full of rage and anger and contempt that one of his officers wasn't able to violate the rules murder someone and still keep his job. They're not happy that this man not in prison. He's not in jail that he wasn't found guilty of multiple crimes which he should have been. That's not good enough. They're mad. Had this man lost his job for basically the most gross violation of department policies that you could ever imagine i wanna play a short clip of pat at lynch from yesterday. This is after o'neill has made his announcement after the family of eric garner solemnly came to the mic through pain and devastation the station to sit how they felt about it. Let me play the clip for absolutely essential that the world know oh that the new york city police department is rudderless and frozen the leadership has abandoned ship and left dr police officers on the street and i thought that yesterday to me and i say this is someone who has been close to this case who was personal friends with eric garner the daughter of eric garner who's friends now with emerald and eric junior and the entire family family including eric's widow and his mother and others. I thought yesterday was a painful metaphor for where we are as a country right right now. A black man is dead. His daughter is dead and it was an open and shut case in we barely early even though it was seen in broad daylight by witnesses and filmed by brave man ramsey order who's in jail himself right now. Even though all of that happened we get this tiny little sliver of justicy a small semblance of closure after five years too late in his still set people off people in power particularly white people in power our conservative white folk in power. It's set them off that. This devastated family got just a tiny naini measure of something right. This is why we ever needed to say. Black lives matter in the first place because the system from top to bottom treats black lives like they don't matter. We shouldn't even need to say that phrase black lives matter because because of course black lives matter but we need to say because when this system shows just a little tiny bit of value to the lives of black folk wife oh can power just can't break it. Bring the bring the bring bring again. Thank you all for making it all the way through this episode of the breakdown. If you haven't already subscribe to our podcast we'll be right back here every single weekday breaking down important news stories in issues and we'd love for you to subscribe on your favorite podcast apps like apple podcasts or spotify spotify. Please share this podcast with your friends and family because our next big goes to get to one hundred thousand subscribers and we're not going to get there without you you also have you left a review yet. We love when we see the great reviews of all of our members. 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