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Tags: chokehold | Eric Garner | rnc | grand jury

Michael Steele on Garner: 'Black Man's Life Not Worth a Ham Sandwich'

By    |   Thursday, 04 December 2014 09:45 AM EST

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the grand jury's decision not to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner reveals how little black lives are valued in American society.

Speaking on MSNBC, Steele said the decision is "part of the same narrative" as the verdict handed down by the grand jury in Ferguson in the case of Michael Brown's death, and suggested that there is an inherent problem with the influence prosecutors have in the justice system.

"A prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich?" Steele said. "Well, clearly a black man's life is not worth a ham sandwich when you put these stories together. And that is the frustration that a lot of African-Americans see."

Steele said that at the very least, these types of cases should go to a jury, otherwise it only fuels tensions in a community that already feels it is not being treated fairly.

A grand jury on Wednesday decided not to indict the white New York police officer who killed Garner in a chokehold in July after he repeatedly said he couldn't breathe.

Following the decision, protests erupted on the streets of New York. More than 60 people were arrested, mainly for disorderly conduct.

President Barack Obama issued a statement saying that the two grand jury decisions should draw people together to address injustices in the legal system.

"This is an American problem, and not just a black problem or a brown problem or a Native American problem," Obama said. "When anybody in this country is not being equally under the law, that's a problem. And it's my job as president to help solve it."

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Headline
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the grand jury's decision not to indict the cop who killed Eric Garner reveals how little black lives are valued in American society.
chokehold, Eric Garner, rnc, grand jury
272
2014-45-04
Thursday, 04 December 2014 09:45 AM
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