Statement on the Killing of Eric Garner, Need for Justice and Accountability
The Hawkins-Jones campaign expresses their profound sympathy to the family of Eric Garner. This is a tragedy that should not have happened.
The Green Party joins in the call for a full investigation of the killing but is skeptical that an internal investigation will lead to true justice in the name of Eric Garner and those who came before him. Overly aggressive policing, including the repeated use of prohibited choke holds, continue with a minimal reprimand or no fault findings at all.
Those who killed Mr. Garner need to be held criminally liable for any improper actions as a deterrent to future incidents.
Though the use of choke holds by the police has been prohibited by internal rules since 1993, there were more than 1,000 complaints filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board in the last 5 years alone. The number of unreported incidents is undoubtedly much higher. The Board substantiated only 9 of those incidents, indicating that it is inadequate to the task of having a meaningful impact on changing police behavior and practice.
Community residents want a police department that works with them to help protect their neighborhood. They need a police force that reduces violence, not contributes to it. And we need a police force that treats all our residents with respect regardless of their color, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality.