You have to admire their willingness to spin bullshit into blame!
In the wake of Eric Garner’s death via cop chokehold, the NYPD is coming under all sorts of additional scrutiny. This is in addition to the appointed oversight ordered by Judge Scheindlin after finding that elements of its infamous stop-and-frisk program were unconstitutional. Scott Greenfield has a very stark recounting of the incident, as well as a recording of Eric Garner’s last moments. (Here’s additional footage, which includes the officer who applied the lethal chokehold waving at the camera, as well as several officers gamely pretending Garner is simply passed out.)
The unexpected happened when the official medical examiner’s report failed to find that the 400-lb Garner (who is heard repeatedly telling officers he can’t breathe) had simply dropped dead of a heart attack or pre-existing health conditions — something that supposedly would have happened with or without a cop applying direct pressure to his windpipe. Instead, the report contained a word rarely found in examinations following in-custody deaths: homicide.
The largest union within the NYPD — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association — couldn’t have been expecting that. But PBA president Pat Lynch still managed to find something spinnable about the entire situation, greatly aided by the convenient arrest of the cameraman on weapons charges.
The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest union representing NYPD officers, said in a statement that it was “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.”It wobbles horribly, but it still spins. Here’s Scott Greenfield:
Come on, you have to be impressed by the statement. The problem is no longer [Officer] Pantaleo killing Garner, but “criminals like Mr. Orta who carry illegal firearms who stand to benefit the most by demonizing the good work of police officers.” This is poetry. This is genius. It was all about criminals demonizing cops, not cops killing people.As nearly impossible as it is to “demonize” someone with an unaltered recording of their actions, Lynch found a way to at least attempt to flip the narrative. Orta is a criminal. Pantaleo is a police officer. Lynch’s statement asks the public to choose a side. Do you want to side with criminals, or do you want to let bygones be bygones (including the occasional homicide) and side with New York’s finest?