The most vocal commentators on race and justice in America were rendered almost silent this week.
A man choked another man to death, and the killer got away. This week, a grand jury convened and decided that Daniel Pantaleo, the New York Police Department officer who took Eric Garner’s life with his bare hands in broad daylight, did not commit a crime worthy of punishment. Eric Garner, 43 years old, unarmed, died on a Staten Island street with Pantaleo’s arm around his neck, surrounded by police officers and witnesses, some of whom recorded the incident.
On Thursday, Americans awoke to grapple with the reality of a justice system that fails to deliver justice, over and over again. But while many expressed shock and dismay over the Eric Garner verdict, some facing for the first time the profundity of insitutional racism, many in the black community and their allies recieved the news with weary sighs—all too familiar with the specter of police violence.