Heavy price paid for Garner’s light crime

By Benjamin Haber

In reference to “Boro dismayed at Garner case,” (Flushing Times, Dec. 5-11, 2014), what seems to be ignored in the Eric Garner chokehold case is the police were attempting to arrest Mr. Garner for selling loose cigarettes on a public street.

Even though selling loose cigarettes on the street is a violation of law, on a criminal scale of 1 to 10, that would barely qualify as a 1, that could easily be addressed with a ticket and a fine. Were that the law, Mr. Garner would still be alive.

The time has come, in addition to national dialogue on minority treatment by law enforcement personnel attempting to do their job, there should be an exhaustive review to limiting forceable arrests to activities that truly represent a serious threat to society. Selling loose cigarettes does not qualify as a serious threat.

Benjamin M. Haber


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