Bloomington Herald-Times, July 23, 2016
To the editor:
In April of 2013, Elizabeth Daly purchased bottled water and was accosted by plainclothes law enforcement who thought she illegally purchased alcohol. "One agent pulled a gun as another jumped on the hood of Daly’s car," according to the Huffington Post. She fled, not knowing her assailants were law enforcement, and went to jail. Daly sued for damages, winning a $212,500 settlement.
Daly survived. Eric Garner did not. He died to satisfy New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio's greed for tax money. Garner was selling loose cigarettes without collecting the necessary taxes. Was he breaking the law, and should he have been told to stop? Yes. Should he have been arrested and violently taken down, for what is at worst a minor infraction? No.
I attended the Black Lives Matter rally on July 16. I do not agree with everything BLM says or does, but they raise issues that should be addressed. These include excessive force, the militarization of police, and using excessive fines as a way of raising revenue for local government. This practice (common in Ferguson) has crushed many poor blacks caught in a cycle of penalties and jail time for non-payment.