Coming just two weeks after the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner has the feel of a grim serial filled with redundant plot lines—a production that few of us wish to watch but none of us can avoid, and that a great many are complicit in creating. This is not imaginary.
Here is the man who aspired to become the first black President counselling calm following the acquittal of the officers who shot and killed Sean Bell, an unarmed black man, on the eve of Bell’s wedding, in New York, in 2006.
Obviously there was a tragedy in New York. I said at the time, without benefit of all the facts before me, that it looked like a possible case of excessive force. The judge has made his ruling, and we’re a nation of laws, so we respect the verdict that came down.
Here is that same man, having now attained the office, counselling calm in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who killed the seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, another unarmed black man, in Sanford, Florida, in 2012.