Spike Lee edits Radio Raheem footage to match Eric Garner’s death

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

The older I get, the more I appreciate Spike Lee.   Spike ruffles feathers with his raw commentary, but I’m firmly convinced that he cares about black people.  While most of the folks in Hollywood are too busy wondering if their overseers are going to give them approval to be outraged over the death of Eric Garner, Spike is making his voice heard almost instantaneously.

Eric Garner was the married father of six who was killed on video by members of the New York Police Department.   The senseless homicide in broad daylight was made even more painful by the number of witnesses with cell phones getting the entire incident on tape.  There was also the tragic reaction of EMS workers, who cared so little for this precious African American life that they let the man die without even performing CPR on him.

Former police officer Ken Williams, during a conversation we had this week, says that firing the individuals involved in Garner’s death isn’t enough.   Instead, someone should be prosecuted and ultimately sent to prison if found guilty.  The negligence is appalling, and Williams does a good job of clearly explaining how this could never have happened to a wealthy white man on Wall Street.   With all of the rich white guys running around New York with cocaine in their pockets, we have to wonder why they were so concerned about Garner selling untaxed cigarettes.  Then, we have to wonder why they felt empowered to harass, humiliate, tackle, choke and kill this man on the street like a cheap and worthless animal.

Even worse is that there are thousands of other Eric Garners who died without having anyone around with cell phones to record the injustice.  Instead, the officers were allowed to receive the benefit of the doubt and lean on undeserved public trust to file false police reports claiming that the deceased had a weapon or that they were resisting arrest.   In far too many cases, police have assaulted innocent civilians and then attempted to prosecute those individuals for resisting arrest.

So, ask yourself:  How many Eric Garners have been murdered by the NYPD who WERE NOT recorded on a cell phone?  The real tragedy is not just with Garner’s untimely death.  It’s that this death is the tip of the police corruption iceberg.

Please take a second to watch Spike’s video, it’s powerful.

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There are 13 comments for this article
  1. godfather05 at 3:17 pm

    It is a tragedy but very important that the action of these rogue cops were caught on camera or it would be just another case put in the NY files as a justified killing of a black man.
    Bloomberg is responsible for officers acting this way according to my friends in NY. According to them, Bloomberg encouraged NY Police officers to harass minorities with the stop and frisk policy which has led to NY Police killing many minorities and if not caught on camera it was a justified killing.

  2. Lynn Magnuson at 10:52 pm

    Spike is one of my favorites too. He tells life like it is, which is the job of a good storyteller. And filmmakers are storytellers. I met him in New Orleans shortly after he released "When The Levees Broke" and stood in line for about an hour just to get close to him to tell him thanks for making the film. No autograph … just thanks to him. I think I startled him a bit but he deserved more than just someone collecting his signature. He's brought out things in society that need to be corrected or changed, and as a result is slowly making it a better place to live for ALL people.

  3. Lawrence Forde at 2:27 am

    Spike Lee a Morehouse man, continues to show us why he is so relevant and a leader in the entertainment industry…while Tyler Perry struggles to transition into what is called the entertainment industry mainstream, Spike continues to maintain and set a very high bar!…Keep on doin' it Spike!…God Bless!

  4. Douglas Davis at 10:31 am

    I Truly agree with what Spike Lee said. If that had been a white man that never wood have happen, Those officers should be convicted and put in jail for a long time, because had those officers had been black they wood have been fired and locked up .

  5. Marianne P Jordan at 2:36 pm

    Spike did the right thing. All those who took part in the murder of Mr. Garner shoul go to jail for a long time.I hope his family sues all of them. Perhaps this will stop the police violence. This should be an outrage within the police dept.

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