While protesters and pundits
are expressing their outrage at the decision by a grand jury not to indict the police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, leading conservative figures are showing support for the police.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said it was "completely outrageous"
to say racism played a role in the death of Eric Garner.
"The part of this that is completely outrageous are the statements that make this a racial incident, when without any doubt this was not a racial incident. The presence of the black sergeant proves that, and the fact that if another man that size resisted arrest, the same thing would have happened," Giuliani, a Republican, said Thursday on Fox & Friends.
He added that New York Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, civil right activist Al Sharpton, "and the others" who say racism was involved are "tearing down respect for a criminal justice system that goes back to England in the 11th Century." He said, such positions "create this atmosphere of protests, and sometimes even violence."
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar
also said that Garner's death, in addition to Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, were not the result of racism.
"It's counterproductive to dialogue," the St. Louis chief told Fox News. "If we can't get away from this racist beast, then it's very difficult to move forward."
New York Rep. Peter King
insisted that asthma and obesity should be blamed for Garner's death, not the actions of the police.
"You had a 350-pound person who was resisting arrest. The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible. If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died," he said.
King also said he supported the grand jury's decision, and praised the jury for "doing justice" in its handling of the case.
"Thanks to SI grand jury for doing justice & not yielding to outside pressure," King tweeted. "Decision must be respected. Compassion for the Garner family."
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik
also said that he supported the decision by the grand jury not to indict the officer.
"It's an unfortunate tragedy what happened," Kerik told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"You cannot resist arrest... If Eric Garner did not resist arrest, the outcome in this case would have been very different." He added, "He wouldn't be dead today. That's the reality."
And Arizona GOP Rep. Matt Salmon
also said he believed that the grand jury made the right decision and that "justice was served."
"The process of indicting is a pretty easy one and so the fact that this officer wasn't indicted speaks volumes that it was clear to the grand jury that he operated under the scope of his authority and he did what any reasonable officer would've done to subdue somebody that was resisting arrest and all I'm saying is that is the process by which our country operates and justice was served," he told Newsmax TV.
Meanwhile, the New York Post
issued an editorial saying that Eric Garner and Michael Brown were guilty of making bad decisions that eventually cost them their lives, and that grand jury members in each case made the right decisions not to indict the police officers.
"Each broke the law — petty offenses, to be sure, but sufficient to attract the attention of the police," wrote The Post's Bob McManus. "And then — tragically, stupidly, fatally, inexplicably — each fought the law. The law won, of course, as it almost always does."
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