“Every time you see me, you want to mess with me! I’m tired of it! It stops today!”
Eric Garner, a peaceful and productive citizen, had suffered years of pointless and unnecessary harassment by the costumed predators employed by the NYPD. He told one of them to leave him alone. Such impudence by a mere Mundane cannot be tolerated, so Garner was murdered in the street in full public view.
Several plainclothes officers were prowling Garner’s Staten Island neighborhood on the afternoon of July 17 seeking to harvest revenue by catching harmless people in the act of committing petty infractions. Police Commissioner William Bratton describes this as “stamping out petty offenses as a way of heading off larger ones.” in practice, this means authorizing police to commit actual crimes in their efforts to turn harmless people into “offenders.”
When a fight erupted in Garner’s neighborhood, the plainclothes officers – who have no enforceable duty to protect persons or property – didn’t intervene. Garner did, according to witnesses, breaking up the fight and restoring peaceful order. This made Garner conspicuous to the officers whose uselessness he had just demonstrated.
The 43-year-old father of six and grandfather of two had been arrested on dozens of occasions and had court dates scheduled later this year for charges of marijuana possession and selling untaxed cigarettes. Even if one assumes – and one shouldn’t -- that either of those charges involved an actual crime, on the day he was killed Garner had done nothing whatsoever to justify being interrogated by the police, let alone arrested.
The first fatal mistake Garner made was to act as a peacemaker. The second was to assert his self-ownership in the face of someone employed by the contemporary equivalent of a slave patrol. Within minutes, five police officers attacked him, one of them slipping behind him to apply an illegal chokehold. Garner died of cardiac arrest after being swarmed and suffocated in front of numerous horrified witnesses, one of whom captured the entire event – from first confrontation to homicide – on camera.
Those who visit the fetid and disreputable social media neighborhoods where police congregate anonymously and express themselves candidly will quickly learn that Garner has only himself to blame. He was an overweight, combative black man who didn’t know his proper place, which was at the feet of his betters, meekly accepting the shackles and submitting to whatever indignities they deemed appropriate.
“Anytime a person says `I’m tired of it, it stops today,’ that will almost always end with the use of force,” insisted one contributor to an LEO-exclusive forum. “He made that decision, not the police. The Police must effect the arrest and rise above any resistance” – including verbal resistance to unwarranted harassment by the police, which as Garner’s death illustrates can be treated as a capital offense.
Elsewhere police and their apologists – both paid and uncompensated – are caviling about the nature of the restraint used by Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who attacked the victim’s throat. Because the victim reportedly didn’t suffer significant damage to his throat and trachea, the illegal restraint wasn’t a “true” chokehold, or so the apologists insist. Under NYPD guidelines in place since 1993, this isn’t relevant: The policy explicitly and categorically forbids the use of any restraint involving pressure against the neck or throat.
Furthermore, since 2011, thousands of New York residents have been arrested and convicted under a law that makes any aggressive contact resulting in “obstruction of breathing or blood circulation” a criminal offense – a felony when that act results in the victim suffering “stupor, loss of consciousness, impairment and/or physical or serious physical injury….”
If that statute were applied equitably, as it almost certainly will not be, Pantaleo and his accomplices would be prosecuted for murder.
Atrocities of this kind happen every day across the soyuz, many of them generated by the decades-long derangement known as the war on drugs. The murder of Eric Garner demonstrates that even if drugs were “legalized,” police would still find ways to kill innocent people while collecting the state’s cut of drug proceeds: Remember, the officers who harassed, surrounded, and eventually killed Garner accused him of selling “untaxed” cigarettes.
Three days before the NYPD murdered Eric Garner, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his Cigarette Strike Force had “seized nearly $1.7 million in cash and contraband” during its first six months of operation. Directed by the state Tax Department, the strike force is a public works project for the coercive sector, encompassing twelve federal and local law enforcement bodies.
Through the task force, participating agencies, from the Department of Homeland Security to the NYPD’s 120th Precinct – the on-duty home to Eric Garner’s murderers – have access to “crime-related intelligence” to help them collaborate in the supposedly vital task of dismantling “major cigarette trafficking organizations.”
None of this has even the remotest connection to the protection of persons and property. This is law enforcement pared down to its detestable essentials -- state-licensed aggressors dispatched to harass, detain, and kill people purely for the purpose of revenue collection.
“All these agencies realize those among us who sell illegal cigarettes are a threat to government tax revenue,” belched New York State Commissar for Taxation Thomas H. Mattox, describing cigarette sales conducted without giving a cut to the political class as “economic crimes that fill the pockets of criminals.”
The expression “economic crimes” is a Soviet-grade collectivist coinage, and Comrade Cuomo channeled the hell-dwelling spirit of Feliks Dzherzhinsky in expressing his determination to punish those who participate in black market cigarette sales.
“Cigarette smugglers should be on notice – our administration will not stand for [sic] those who break the law and steal from taxpayers,” decreed Cuomo, determined to protect his regime’s exclusive privilege of stealing from the productive public. “New York has zero tolerance for this illegal activity, and those who further it will be brought to justice.”
Or, as the killing of Eric Garner demonstrated, those suspected of violating the “zero tolerance” standard by occasionally selling loose cigarettes will be hounded beyond forbearance and then slaughtered in the streets.
Tobacco, like marijuana, is a substance with mood-altering properties. Unlike marijuana, tobacco is legal; another distinction is that tobacco, unlike marijuana, has no known beneficial uses. Apart from a handful of very small jurisdictions, sale and consumption of tobacco have never been prohibited. Instead, the parasite class has expanded efforts to impose “sin taxes” on tobacco: By some estimates, taxes account for more than half the retail price of the typical carton of cigarettes.
Over the past five years, as revenue-hungry governments have ruthlessly increased cigarette taxes, the black market has expanded in similar – and predictable -- fashion. Not surprisingly, New York, where taxes are confiscatory, has the highest “inbound cigarette smuggling rate” in the country, according to the Tax Foundation.
Two hundred and forty-six years ago, revenue agents in Boston impounded a large cargo ship christened Liberty that contained a bounty of untaxed goods. The owner of that vessel was a notorious scofflaw and extremist who had been cheating the government by withholding its cut of his commerce.
The officials responsible for this seizure acted out of the smug assurance that the “decent” majority would support this righteous assertion of authority. They were wrong. Rather than rallying to the cause of law and order, the population turned against its government, assaulting officers and attacking their facilities.
Acting on the principle that law enforcement “must rise above resistance,” authorities escalated their efforts to restore order, eventually sending in the military. This led to a massacre that triggered a revolution in which that same supposedly reprehensible smuggler, John Hancock, would play a significant role.
Eric Garner’s exasperated proclamation “It stops today!” is cognate with “Don’t tread on me,” and his murder by an army of occupation immeasurably more vicious and corrupt than the Redcoats could precipitate a long-overdue rebellion against the omnivorous elite that army serves. This is why no effort will be spared to redirect outrage over this atrocity into racial collectivist channels, were it will serve the interest of people who encourage ordinary Americans to look with suspicion and hostility at each other, rather than directing such attention at those who presume to rule the rest of us.
Last week I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jeff Deist, President of the Mises Institute, on the subject of "Police State Keynesianism":
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Dum spiro, pugno!