There aren't too many people out there defending New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo or the decision by a grand jury not to indict him in the death of Eric Garner.
The dearth of defenders likely stems from the disturbing footage of Pantaleo placing Garner, who had been suspected of selling individual cigarettes outside of a Staten Island store, in a fatal chokehold.
"I will say, that upon seeing the video that you just saw, and hearing Mr. Garner say he could not breathe, I was extremely troubled," Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said on Wednesday night. "I would have loosened my grip. I desperately wish the officer would have done that."
Garner should not have resisted arrest, O'Reilly said, but the 43-year-old unarmed black man "did not deserve what happened to him."
"And I think Officer Pantaleo and every other American police officer — every one — would agree with me," O'Reilly said. "He didn't deserve that."
He might be surprised. While most share O'Reilly's grief about Garner's fate, certain politicians, commentators and law enforcement personnel have turned the death into a lesson about the dangers of resisting arrest.
That's in contrast with the recent case of Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson, who had a broader array of defenders in the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, and who was also cleared by a grand jury.
Read More →