CASH IN THE APPLE 12-11-14
By Cash Michaels
ERIC GARNER – So now the pattern is clear.
In the aftermath of the Eric Garner chokehold non-decision in Staten Island last week, it seems that there can be no question that there is much work to be done when it comes to holding rogue police officers who shoot unarmed black people to death accountable for their actions.
What has bothered me greatly is hearing police representatives argue that Eric Garner did not die of a chokehold, but rather because he was obese and had asthma.
Folks, if Eric Garner ran from the police, fell down and died of a heart attack, then yes, you could make that argument. But the NY medical examiner made it conclusive – Garner died because of throat compression, with his poor health being a contributing factor.
In other words, cutting off his air certainly contributed to his death. He was alive and well with asthma and being obese.
I’m also in shock at what NY Congressman Peter King said, stating that Garner was not telling the truth when he cried out that he couldn’t breathe as four to five police officers wrestled him to the ground.
“He could talk. If he could talk, he could breathe,” Rep. King coldly told CNN.
So much for any sympathy from Rep. King.
The fact of the matter is we have learned valuable lessons from Ferguson, Mo. and Staten Island, NY, where the prosecutor in both cases moved heaven and earth to make sure that accused police officers got more than the benefit of a doubt. Those are apparently the rules now. Even with a videotape of the actual event, the police will be given a free meal ticket when it comes to killing unarmed black men, who are deemed so dangerous – as in the cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown – that not killing them in any confrontation is not an option.
Just ask Tamir Rice, the 12 year-old boy who was shot to death by Cleveland police because he was playing with a toy gun in the park. The cop who shot him didn’t give Tamir two seconds to drop his toy weapon.
Make no mistake…we need good police officers. They are the difference between a safe society and a lawless one.
But we cannot live in a society where those sworn to uphold the law, and conveniently above the law when they do wrong. That sends a very dangerous message that could spell very bad news for all concerned.
ATHLETES – Last week, Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose caused a minor fuss when he wore a black t-shirt with the words, “I can’t breathe” on it, referring to the last words of NY police chokehold victim Eric Garner. Last Monday, Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James wore a similar t-shirt in warmups before their game in Brooklyn against the Nets, joined by several nets players. And some NFL players also have been seen wearing t-shirts and athletic shoes with the same moniker.
All of this follows of the heels of five players for the St. Louis Rams who came out for a game with their hands up, paying tribute to the alleged last actions of Michael Brown before he was shot to death by Ofc. Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo.
The police union there immediately went after the Rams players, complaining that they disrespected police officers, and challenged both the NFL and the St. Louis Rams organization to make then apologize.
The NFL said no. The Rams listened to the cop’s beef, but the players weren’t forced to do anything.
` Funny how professional athletes are seemingly denied their First Amendment rights to express their feelings about issues they care about, or at the very least are expected to ask permission first. Mind you, let there be another school shooting or some other national tragedy, and there would be no questions asked when player took a moment to display unity with the community. But let it be something that folks at large would rather forget, and the pitchforks come out big time.
I salute those professional athletes who took the time and made the effort to support their community in the wake of two terrible grand jury decisions. They apparently realize that the victims could have very easily been family members or friends.
The bottomline is these players are American citizens. It’s about time that they are treated as such.
HEART OK – Last week, for the second month in a row, I saw the business-end of a hospital. As you know, I had a stroke to my left leg and arm in November, and am still recovering from that.
Last week, as a result of an examination of my heart, and to make sure that I would not have any follow-up strokes, I went in for a heart catherization, and ultimately a heart operation that saw not one, but two stents installed in my coronary arteries to relieve blockages and increase blood flow.
Doing prevented the likelihood of heart attack or further strokes.
As a result, I am now obligated to continue my strict diet and medication regimen, which means, if all goes well, I live longer, and better.
So I’m OK. Getting plenty of rest, and continuing my exercise and rehab regimen for my left leg. I expect to be up walking normally by mid-January, and will even attend my first Christmas party next week.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…thank you to all of you who have called or have written me with messages of encouragement and upliftment. Each and every one has had special meaning for me, because in each and every case, one person took the time to care about my welfare.
That’s one person taking time to share humanity with another, the epitome of why GOD created us in the first place.
So I’m fine, doing all of the things that I need to do in order to live better, and I certainly intend on doing that.
Apparently it will take much more than a stroke and two heart operations to keep me down…and that’s just the way I like it.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at www.waug-network.com. And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (http://thecashroc.blogspot.com/2011/01/cash-roc-begins.html).
Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.