In the past year, media in the United States has focused on incidents in which blacks have been detained and lost their lives while being detained or held by law enforcement. For example, in July of 2014, New York police officers approached Eric Garner and accused him of selling single cigarettes; a minor offense. When Garner responded that he was not selling cigarettes and that officers were harassing him, several officers attempted to subdue him and one resorted to placing Garner in what witnesses called a chokehold. The interaction was captured on video by a witness/independent bystander. As the video shows, although Garner told officers he could not breathe, they continued to hold him down until he lost consciousness and died. Despite laws against officers’ use of the chokehold and the fact that the city of New York provided Garner’s family with a $5.9 million settlement, no indictments were filed against the officers. Many today continue to question whether the officers violated Eric Garner’s civil rights. Garner’s case is not unique, however, and a growing number of similar cases in the media have led to significant outcry and the development of organizations such as #BlackLivesMatter. Some suggest the US legal system is not only corrupt, but also racist; many have called for better training and greater scrutiny of police procedures, while others have demanded officers face murder charges in more recent cases in which officers have taken the lives of blacks.
choose a recent report in a major US newspaper in which large factions of US society contend the civil rights of an African American have been violated by civil servants (police, lawyers, judges, corrections officers, social workers, etc.). Using a major US newspaper,locate an article on a recent incident and then analyze the actions of the victim and civil servants and the outcomes of the incident. After investigating the situation,explain whether the rights of the individual were violated, and whether the legal system took the appropriate actions (if any) to ensure justice for society and safeguard citizens from future injustices.
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