Do the SLO police turn their backs on opinion writers and executive editors? It’s unfortunate Mr. Iqbal needs to take things out of context to make a point (“Are we policing for the people?” Jan. 29). Chief Gesell’s statements, including “when a police officer draws a weapon, listen to his commands,” are clearly meant for someone the police are dealing with because that person will already be charged with a crime. Someone in that position who feels wronged needs to be focused on having his time in court. So relax, Mr. Iqbal, and let’s strike that whole Lincoln thing from your essay.
And as for the Eric Garner case, Mr. Iqbal ignores the key part: that Garner resisted arrest. That’s Garner’s main crime (not the cigarettes), and why the officers used force. And look! Chief Gesell’s advice for the Ferguson incident applies exactly to Eric Garner. If he had listened to the police, he would have been fine, and we would have been spared the rest of Mr. Iqbal’s essay.
And for those irate and confused about the Eric Garner video, watch it 10 times or more. Discover the distortions of the media, including one that few have talked about: how the NYPD officer did not start with a “chokehold” (his forearm is clearly on the left side of the taller Garner’s neck). The struggle takes longer than expected, and any “intent to harm” (which is roughly what the grand jury considered) exists only as much as you want it to exist. It mirrors how much anger toward police you bring to the table.