The death of Eric Garner was the one of the major contributing factors to the #ICantBreathe/#BlackLivesMatter movements. Garner was choked to death by an NYPD officer as other officers tackled him to the ground for selling loose cigarettes. It was hoped that the officers responsible for his death would be tried for using excessive force, but they were never charged. However, now, a Black NYPD officer is being indicted for excessive force in a separate case, though no one was killed.
Officer Joel Edouard turned himself in at a Brooklyn precinct Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to the charges of excessive force. The charges stem from an incident last year when Edouard stomped on the head of a drug suspect during a stop. The incident was caught on cell phone camera. NYPD officers had the suspect handcuffed on the ground and stomped his head into the concrete causing lacerations to the face.
Though Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson called the allegations “unacceptable for a police officer,” Edouard’s attorney says that his client was simply doing his job by handcuffing a drunk suspect who had marijuana in his possession. This instance of police brutality came less than a week after Eric Garner’s chokehold death.
Considering the outcome of Garner’s case, is there any hope for the man claiming that he was wronged by the NYPD? Granted, Officer Edouard was actually indicted, but the same criminal justice system that saw nothing wrong with the choking death of Garner will be at play during this case.