Eric Garner's chokehold death at NYPD's hands ruled homicide




Guess this means the choker will eventually be found guilty and have to suffer what, a week’s suspension? With pay?


No charges will be filed is my bet.


Keep in mind that “homicide” is what’s listed as the cause of death for victims of the death penalty, so it’s actionability remains to be seen.


Justifiable homicide, perhaps?


Ruled homicide? What the hell ELSE would it be ruled? When a human kills another human, that is by definition homicide. It can’t possibly be anything else - unless you’re saying the victim wasn’t human.

Now, what matters in a legal situation is what kind of homicide - the two degrees of murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, and the various forms of justifiable homicide.

This clearly wasn’t justifiable homicide, but at the same time it seems pretty likely that it technically wasn’t murder (which requires “malice aforethought”), so that leaves manslaughter - in this case, it seems liable to have been voluntary or “heat of passion” manslaughter, rather than involuntary, which is the result to negligence without intent.


Or that the actions of the aggressor were not the cause of death. The medical examiner has now established that they were in fact. Because that is his job. Distinguishing between murder and manslaughter is not.


I don’t think anyone seriously believed the death happened “by accident”, or as some sort of freak coincidence.

I understand that the job of a medical examiner is to set the record straight scientifically, but honestly, in this case it is practically a formality.


Except every cop in New York.


I don’t understand why people think this way or say things like this. There are a hell of a lot of good cops out there, who actually give a damn and who are disgusted by things like this.

Please, be outraged at the abuses of the system, but recognize that not everyone within the system is corrupt or amoral, and that in fact a great number of them are quite the opposite, and deeply offended and concerned by the same injustices you are. Being a cop doesn’t somehow magically make you a jackboot.


I agree, but they sure do know when to circle the wagons.




I think the gray area of intent is larger than you portray. Having a finger on the trigger and/or retrieving a weapon has been ruled to constitute 1st Degree intent, so using an explicitly-banned technique could (could) also. Said another way, look at all the people in jail for 1st Degree murder and you can see how squishy the standard can be. Even so, maybe if Daniel Pantaleo is found guilty of a felony, the other officers at the scene can be brought up on 2nd Degree charges under NY’s Felony Murder Rule.


See, that’d work if the original statement wasn’t:

When the accusation actually is “All X are Y”, then “Not all X are Y” is a perfectly acceptable rebuttal. :wink:


Well, this is all for the courts to determine.

As I said though, it’s typically only murder if you have “malice aforethought” - meaning before the event took place, you contemplated killing the victim. If the intent arises during a conflict, that would seem to fall in line with “heat of passion” and make it voluntary manslaughter.


Actually I think the main point was that it could have been natural causes. The victims health conditions were ruled as contributing factors. It’s not medically homicide if it’s a heart attack or asthma attack, though ironically it could be charged that way if it happens in the commission of a felony. Anyway, point is that the ME found that the choke hold was the cause of death, and that’s pretty serious - hopefully this cop gets charged and tried just like every other murderer in NYC.


Depends. For example, if the victim had a pre-existing medical condition the Medical Examiner could have decided that it wasn’t really the NYPD’s actions that did him in. If I had a heart attack after being startled by a SWAT team busting down my door then there’s almost no chance my death would be ruled a homicide.

I’m glad that they didn’t argue such a crazy thing, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

(Edit: @waetherman beat me to it.)


Okay okay, I surrender, I am utterly and categorically wrong and should have my internet license revoked.


I realize you were speaking in hyperbole, and you had the good grace to respond politely when I pointed out the logical flaw. :wink:

I was merely pointing out to rhizome that the whole “not all X” meme as a snide dismissal of an argument without addressing it strays into complete fallacy when the original context is, in fact, an absolute generalization. (It’s part of what I find so annoying about the original variation - it unfortunately gets invoked and accepted even in cases where the inciting comment IS a blanket judgement.)


That’s true, but it doesn’t help much when they refuse to speak up about it.