It sure seems like Rep. Pete King (R-NY) has never met a civil liberty he liked.
Speaking to CNN last night, King explained that Eric Garner died because he was unhealthy. “If he had not had asthma, and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died from this,” King told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during an interview.
King’s remarks came following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict a cop who put Garner in a chokehold. (Chokeholds are banned from being used by the police.) Garner’s encounter with the police and the chokehold were videotaped as was Garner’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe. Nevertheless, King claimed the “police had no reason to know that he was in serious condition.”
“The fact is if you can’t breathe, you can’t talk,” King said. “If you’ve ever seen anyone resisting arrest, I’ve seen it, and it’s been white guys, and they’re always saying, ‘You’re breaking my arm, you’re choking me, you’re doing this,’ police hear this all the time.”
Fantastic. People are always telling the cops their bones are being broken and they can’t breathe and that’s no big deal to King.
King went on to say that the incident was not racial and that the cops would have killed a white guy too, under the same circumstances.
King added that there “was not a hint” that anyone used any racial epithets, and that if Garner were a “350-pound white guy, he would have been treated the same.”
The medical examiner ruled Garner’s death a homicide. The New York Daily News reported Garner died from compression to the chest and “prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” The autopsy went on to state that “the victim’s asthma, obesity and high blood pressure were also contributing factors in his death.”
Garner was initially approached by the police because he was breaking the asinine law against selling individual cigarettes.