The cops who killed Eric Garner must be prosecuted and sentenced to prison

July 19, 2014

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good afternoon:

The police officers who placed Eric Garner, 43, in a choke hold and asphyxiated him by sitting on him and ignoring his complaints that he could not breathe should be prosecuted and sentenced to prison for killing him.

They are thugs in uniform.

Violent criminals wearing badges.

NYPD regulations forbid the use of choke holds.

I have written about the dangers of positional asphyxiation.

Choke holds have been banned by most emergency services because they can cause death two ways:

(1) Obstructing the airway and/or

(2) Carotid artery compression cutting off blood to the brain.

Given the emphasis on educating first responders regarding the dangers of positional asphyxiation and the ban on using choke holds, no police officer can credibly claim today that they did not know they were endangering Garner’s life when they placed him in a choke hold and sat on him ignoring his protests that he could not breathe.

If they did not intentionally kill him, they certainly acted with reckless disregard for his life, which is manslaughter.

He was unarmed, peaceful and none of the officers were in any physical danger. They did not have to arrest him. If they were so hot and bothered about him selling untaxed cigarettes, they could have issued him a citation.

But, no. They just had to show him how tough they were, so they killed him.

Not one of them even attempted to resuscitate him.

Unless police departments are looking forward to a future where armed civilians gun them down at will in the streets, every one of them needs to go to prison.

This is our 1143rd post.

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Did Zimmerman Hasten Trayvon Martin’s Death Via Positional Asphyxiation?

August 23, 2012

George Zimmerman has admitted straddling Trayvon Martin’s back, who was lying face down in the grass after he shot him, and stretching out his hands in a crucifiction position to prevent him from getting away and possibly getting control of his gun, which was lying in the grass just beyond his reach.

He did not explain how the gun ended up there or how Martin’s hands ended up tucked under his chest when the police arrived.

In her handwritten statement dated February 26, 2012, Mary Cutcher wrote inpertinent part (p. 102/184):

I was in the kitchen and I heard someone yelling: almost crying. Then I heard a gunshot. I went outside and saw a man on top of a guy laying on the ground. He was putting his hands on his neck or chest. I yelled “everything ok” and he did not reply. I said it again, “is everything ok?” He said to call the police. My roommate called 911.

[Emphasis supplied]

On March 1st during a telephonic interview, she said the larger nman “appeared to be holding the person on the ground by pressing on his back.” (p. 47/184)

[Emphasis supplied]

In my article posted yesterday, I detailed what Zimmerman did and did not do to delay the arrival of emergency medical assistance at the scene, despite his own injuries, which he claimed were so serious that he believed he was imminent danger of suffering death or serious bodily injury.

I suggested that his motive for delaying the arrival of medical assistance might have been to assure that Trayvon Martin would be dead when they arrived.

Keep in mind that he could not have known whether Trayvon Martin would die when he shot him and, despite the shot that destroyed his right ventricle and collapsed both lungs, Trayvon might have remained conscious for several minutes, according to two forensic pathologists interviewed by Rene Stutzman of the Orlando Sentinel.

My article yesterday has a link to her article.

Today, I follow-up on my article yesterday and discuss what George Zimmerman might have done to assure that Trayvon would not live long enough to tell anyone what really happened when George Zimmerman shot him.

Wikipedia defines positional asphyxiation as:

a form of asphyxia which occurs when someone’s position prevents them from breathing adequately. A significant number of people die suddenly during restraint by police, prison (corrections) officers and health care staff.[1] Positional asphyxia may be a factor in some of these deaths.

Prone Restraint

Research has suggested that restraining a person in a face down position is likely to cause greater restriction of breathing than restraining a person face up.[2] Multiple cases have been associated with the hogtie or hobble prone restraint position.[3][4] Many law enforcement and health personnel are now taught to avoid restraining people face down or to do so only for a very short period of time.[1]

Risk factors which may increase the chance of death include obesity, prior cardiac or respiratory problems, and the use of illicit drugs such as cocaine.[5] Almost all subjects who have died during restraint have engaged in extreme levels of physical resistance against the restraint for a prolonged period of time.[5] Other issues in the way the subject is restrained can also increase the risk of death, for example kneeling or otherwise placing weight on the subject and particularly any type of restraint hold around the subject’s neck. Research measuring the effect of restraint positions on lung function suggests that restraint which involves bending the restrained person or placing body weight on them, has more effect on their breathing than face down positioning alone.

Physical Forceful- Prone Restraint is defined as:

placing an individual’s body FACE-DOWN (“prone”) upon ANY surface (such as the ground, a long back board, an ambulance wheeled stretcher, a bed, or any other surface), and Restrainers physically applying pressure with their HANDS (and/or OTHER BODY PARTS) to the Victim’s shoulders, posterior torso (“back”), hips, and/or upper legs – physically preventing the Victim from moving out of the PRONE position.

Choke holds have been banned by most emergency services because they can cause death two ways::

(1) Obstructing the airway and/or

(2) Carotid artery compression cutting off blood to the brain.

If I were a member of the prosecution team, I would do everything possible to investigate this possible theory of the case because I cannot think of any valid reason for George Zimmerman to be straddling Trayvon Martin’s back, unless he was attempting under cover of darkness to surreptitiously and furtively finish him off by positional asphyxiation while surrounded by witnesses, including children.

A logical place to start would be to find out if he took the CPR course, which is a part of the Criminal Justice curriculum at Seminole Community College. If he did, were they warned about positional asphyxiation and the dangers of choke holds.

I would also check with his fellow private party bouncers to see whether they were ever warned not to use choke and sleeper holds.

I also would check with the police liaison for the Neighborhood Watch Program to see if this subject was covered in the materials and if she ever discussed it with Zimmerman.

This avenue of inquiry might well determine the outcome of the case.

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