2014-12-05 15:00:35

Democracy Now! - December 5, 2014

Herman Badillo, a trailblazing politician who became the first Puerto Rican-born member of Congress, has died at the age of 85. Badillo served as a powerful voice in New York City politics for decades. He started out as a civil rights attorney and went on to hold a range of city posts and serve four terms in Congress. Throughout his career he championed the rights of Latinos and the poor. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González highlights the legacy of Badillo in his New York Daily News column this week, "Few played as big a role in community as Herman Badillo."

For a second night, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of New York City to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Eric Garner, an African-American father of six, after placing him in a banned chokehold. Protesters chanted, "I can’t breathe," as they blocked traffic, shutting down the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, the West Side Highway and the Holland Tunnel. The police reported making more than 200 arrests, including many near Times Square. In Washington, D.C., hundreds staged a die-in near the Washington Monument. In Boston, protesters shut down the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 93 as well as part of the city’s subway system. In Chicago, demonstrators shouted, "Hands up, don’t shoot!" while blocking Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan. In San Francisco, marchers shut down Market Street. Hundreds also marched in Oakland.

While much of the nation has seen the cellphone video showing the New York City police officer’s chokehold that led to Eric Garner’s death, a second video shows what happened after Garner last gasped, "I can’t breathe." The video shows Garner lying unresponsive on the sidewalk as police and medics do nothing to help him. A bystander can be heard saying, "Why nobody do no CPR?" Eventually they lift his body onto a stretcher. New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel writes about the video in his latest article, "The lonesome death of Eric Garner: When men are treated like pieces of meat by cops and medics, trust erodes."

As Rev. Al Sharpton calls for a march on Washington next Saturday to demand action from the federal government on police brutality and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio orders the retraining of the city’s police force, we host a roundtable discussion on policing and race nationwide. We’re joined by three guests: Graham Weatherspoon is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department; Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for The Nation; and Harry Siegel is a columnist at the New York Daily News.

More than 100 people packed a church in Cleveland, Ohio, for the memorial service of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy shot dead by police last month. Rice, who was in sixth grade, was killed after a 911 caller reported seeing the boy with what turned out to be a pellet gun, which the caller repeatedly said seemed fake. Video shows Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shooting Rice immediately after leaving his cruiser, from a distance of about 10 feet. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department has found a pattern or practice of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force” by the Cleveland Police Department. We speak with Democratic Ohio state Senator Nina Turner, whose district includes Cleveland.

We are also joined by three others in our studio: Graham Weatherspoon is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department; Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for The Nation; and Harry Siegel is a columnist at the New York Daily News.


Al Sharpton Eric Garner Police Brutality Tamir Rice

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