Maybe the NYPD should check in with its PR department once in a while. Last week at Eric Garner’s funeral–the Staten Island man who died as a result of a police chokehold–police arrested a man who wasn’t doing anything illegal. While Calvin Bryant did indeed have an open warrant, was it really necessary for police to arrest him at Garner’s funeral while he was peacefully protesting police brutality in front of his two small children?
“Why on earth choose this moment?” asks Scott Hechinger, one of the lawyers from Brooklyn Defender Services working on Bryant’s case. “There’s about a million other ways to arrest this guy. Get him at his house the day before, the day after, any time over the last four years. Why choose the funeral service—the service that they caused—to inflame tensions? The timing just makes you wonder: Is this to make a statement?”
In addition to the warrant, Bryant suffered a blow to the head and was charged with resisting arrest. Bryant was allegedly holding the holds of his children and he couldn’t get his hands up, but does that equal resisting arrest?
Bottom line: the NYPD has a perception problem. People don’t trust them. Actions like this will only make the tension worse.
Team Blackness also discussed Richmond, California’s black, latina, lesbian vice mayor; why companies should hire more women; and the university president who took a pay cut to give minimum wage workers a raise.