The Eric Garner case exposes a huge problem with how we hold police officers accountable



As protests sweep the country, it’s time to think critically about the flaws in our justice system. The biggest one involves the conflict of interest that comes when local prosecutors are tasked with charging the police officers already they work with.

“Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan, like his counterpart Bob McCulloch in St. Louis County, is operating under an inherent conflict of interest,” explains Mic‘s Gregory Krieg. “When prosecutors are tasked with investigating and charging police officers, they’re being asked to punish members of an organization who are tightly intertwined with their own operations — a big obstacle to ensuring that justice is done.”

+ “#BlackLivesMatter has been our rallying cry, our plea to be human. I understand why the phrase was coined. But I no longer believe it to be true.”

+ Jon Stewart on the Garner decision: “I honestly don’t know what to say.”

+ When is it OK for a police officer to kill an unarmed black man? Check this chart.

+ If you’re angry over Michael Brown and Eric Garner, this South Carolina case may give you hope.

+ #AliveWhileBlack exposes the ugly truth about everyday racism.

The police officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice never should have been given a gun
MicCleveland police officer Tim Loehmann, who fatally shot Rice for waving a fake gun at the park two seconds after arriving on the scene, was found unfit for duty two years ago.

+ A letter in Loehmann’s personnel file from his brief tenure at the Independence (Ohio) Police Department gave him dismal reviews and pointed out several flaws in the his abilities. These flaws resulted in his eventual resignation.

+ During Loehmann’s time at the suburban police department, he “had issues with handling guns.” The Independence Police Department described his behavior during firearms training and qualification as “distracted” and “weepy.”

+ Despite this, a St. Louis County police officer used the department’s account on Thursday to blame Rice for his own death. Why the St. Louis County police are commenting on this, we just don’t know.

+ A separate federal investigation uncovered a pattern of excessive force and abuse of power by the Cleveland police.

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