The death of Mr. Garner, who was seemingly not posing danger to arresting officers nor was committing a major crime (he was selling illegal cigarettes!), cannot be described as anything but appalling. That, I think, is a given. The issue, though, is how to deal with an officer that also did not seem to be maliciously trying to cause bodily harm. Having said that, I believe that he should still be indicted and charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The decision not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner, however, has sparked new tensions across the nation. It is no longer an issue of racial tensions or even the people vs the government. Now that the US justice department has decided to launch a civil rights investigation, I can honestly say that things will get much more complicated really quickly.
As there are so many government officials echoing the discontent of the public at the national level (including President Obama), there will now be pressure on city government officials to overturn this decision. This, I think, will lead to another major battle that centers around the question: Is the federal government overstepping its boundaries by involving itself in a city matter?
I do hope that justice is done. I think that all citizens should have a right to feel protected by its police force, not scared and intimidated by it. At this point, it does seem like this case may be the breaking point that brings about real reform. It may also be the case that creates strong divisions between even government agencies. I hope, however, that no matter what happens, the death of Mr. Garner is not just another senseless injustice.