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NYC public advocate confronts defender of Eric Garner’s killer: ‘Stop pretending black folks aren’t human’

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Former New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and former FBI special agent James Gagliano debated the firing of Daniel Pantaleo, an NYPD officer who caused the death of Eric Garner.

Gagliano called the firing a “glaring miscarriage of justice.”

“I look at it from the perspective of the law,” Gagliano opined. “It’s easy to watch the video and feel passion for the [Garner] family. We’ve had his wife on here, we’ve had his mother on here, we’ve had his children on here.”

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Gagliano insisted that he is not an “unabashed police shill.” He said that basing the firing on the video of Garner’s death is “unfair to the officer.”

“He refused to comply, his health played a role,” he said.

“We have to stop pretending black folks aren’t human beings,” Williams told Gagliano. “So when this happens, ‘they shouldn’t of moved, they shouldn’t have this,’ I’ve seen situations where other human beings do the same thing and they don’t end up dead.”

“Even if all the things he’s accused of turned out to be true, he didn’t deserve to be dead,” he added. “This is the only profession… where people die and we say there shouldn’t be accountability.”

Williams reminded Gagliano that Officer Pantaleo applied a chokehold to Garner when there was no danger to anyone involved.

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“Every officer has to be judged by a reasonable standard,” Gagliano replied. “Mr. Garner resisted and said you’re not taking me in today.”

“You’re skipping a very important point,” Williams interrupted, “which was, why did he do that in the first place?”

Williams asserted that Pantaleo should have waited for a supervisor because there was no threat to Garner or himself.

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“I never waited for a supervisor!” Gagliano exclaimed.

“I dont know what it’s like to grow up as a black man in America,” the former FBI agent admitted, grabbing Williams’ by the shoulder. “You do. You don’t know what it’s like to be a cop on the streets in an area that is a high crime area and you never know when somebody refuses to comply, are they looking to take my life?”

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“I also know that people in high crime areas want that crime down,” Williams said. “There was an error made and someone died and an illegal technique was used. And there has to be accountability for that.”

Watch the debate below from CNN.

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Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

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In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

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Conservative says Republicans won’t want to stop confirming right-wing judges just to hear witnesses in impeachment

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Conservative CNN commentator Scott Jennings was asked about Sen. John Kennedy's (R-LA) comments that most senators were hearing the facts of the trial for the first time Wednesday night.

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He claimed that nine out of ten senators learned something new and the tenth is lying.

Jennings dismissed the information, saying that whatever happens in the trial, senators won't want to "shut down the Senate" just to hear witnesses. He claimed that President Donald Trump's legal team would make that argument to the senators.

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Jason Crow lays out the human cost of Trump’s Ukraine scheme — citing his military experience

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On the second day of the impeachment trial, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), a veteran and one of the House impeachment managers, clearly laid out the risk that President Donald Trump's Ukraine scheme posed to human life — and drew from his own experience in the military.

"I know something about counter-battery radar," said Crow. "In 2005 I was an Army Ranger serving in a special operations task force in Afghanistan. We were at a remote operating base along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. And frequently, the insurgents that we were fighting would launch rockets and missiles onto our small base. But luckily we were provided with counter-battery radar. The 20, 30, 40 seconds before those rockets and mortars rained down on us, an alarm would sound, and we would run out from our tents and jump into our concrete bunkers and wait for the attack to end. This is not a theoretical exercise, and the Ukrainians know it."

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