NEW YORK – Thousands of New Yorkers moved by the tragic chokehold death of 43-year-old Staten Island father of six, Eric Garner, at the hands of NYPD police officer Daniel Pantaleo, and the failure of a grand jury to bring criminal charges against him, flocked to the streets for the second night in a row Thursday to call for change in a justice system they believe is rife with racial bias.
Standing in solidarity with similar protests across several U.S. cities, New Yorkers of all ages and races from a variety of religious, academic and civil rights organizations gathered with many others to demand change.
The Rev. John H. Vaughn, executive vice president of the Auburn Theological Seminary, who was among the protesters, said it was important for Christians to get involved in the movement. more >>
With the Republican Party's sweeping victories in last month's midterm elections, it has a deep bench of rising stars to draw upon for future senatorial, gubernatorial and presidential races.
Here are seven of those rising stars:
George P. Bush more >>
In a powerful show of solidarity conservatives joined a growing chorus of Americans in condemning the surprising decision of a grand jury Wednesday to not hold a New York City police officer criminally responsible for the chokehold death of 43-year-old Staten Island father of six, Eric Garner.
The stunning decision of the grand jury to not bring criminal charges against 29-year-old NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed the 400-pound asthmatic Garner in what appeared on video to be a chokehold, sparked a wave of protests across New York City Wednesday night that continued into Thursday morning.
"The grand jury's decision not to bring any charges against the officer who killed Garner is inexplicable. It defies reason. It makes no sense. Unlike the Michael Brown case, we don't have to rely on shaky and unreliable testimony from so-called eyewitnesses. We don't need to review bullet trajectories or forensics. All we have to do is watch the video and believe our own eyes," noted Sean Davis, writer for the conservative publication The Federalist in an op-ed. more >>
As racial tension nationwide intensifies, triggered by the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and compounded by the case of Eric Garner in New York City, the issue of whether racial justice should be promoted as a "Gospel demand" among Christians has become a divisive topic for some Evangelicals seeking solutions to racial conflict.
Southern Baptist pastor Randy White of First Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, says the pursuit of racial justice is not a "Gospel demand," disagreeing with fellow Southern Baptist leader Matthew Hall who penned a blog post last week stating that seeking racial justice is indeed a Gospel demand.
"Ferguson, Missouri, has erupted in barbaric violence that should cause all law-abiding citizens to demand the restoration of the rule-of-law, but the Evangelical world is preaching kum-ba-ya sermons about race-relations. I've gotta say, I just don't get it," said White in an op-ed posted to his website last Wednesday. more >>
As news came Wednesday that a grand jury has decided not to indict a New York City police officer in the choking death of 43-year-old Eric Garner this summer, President Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American president, argued that there's bias in the way law enforcement engages communities of color and asserted that it "is an American problem."
Interrupting his address at the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Obama noted in sober comments that while police officers across the nation have a difficult job to do, they can only perform effectively "if everybody has confidence in the system."
As of now, he said, that does not appear to be the case. more >>
Family and supporters of Eric Garner, 43, the 400-pound asthmatic father who died after he was locked in a chokehold by a New York City police officer in Staten Island this summer, expressed collective shock at the decision of a grand jury not to bring criminal charges against the officer on Wednesday.
Reacting to the news in a report in The Daily News, Eric Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said: "Oh my God, are you serious? I'm very disappointed. You can see in the video that he (the cop) was dead wrong!"
A nearly 3-minute video of the encounter between Garner and NYPD officers posted on YouTube, shows Garner screaming "I can't breathe, I can't breathe," repeatedly before falling silent as cops swarmed him when he refused to be handcuffed after expressing surprise that the officers were harassing him for trying to break up a fight. more >>