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.”
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.
“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.
“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?”
“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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