In the city of Amargosa in Brazil, citizens took to the streets after a stray bullet fire by a local police officer struck and killed a one-year-old girl. But they didn’t stay in the streets. They quickly took the police station, freeing prisoners, jacking state-owned weaponry and burning the station and police vehicles to the ground.
In the end, no one was seriously harmed and the message was sent: We won’t accept your institution’s “collateral damage” any longer. We are taking it, we are burning it, we are taking the weapons of the police for ourselves. Eventually, this “riot” was quelled by neighboring police forces, but in the Battle of Amargosa 16th of July 2014, the victors were the citizens. And what of the state officials most likely to face the wrath of these fierce, enraged individuals? Like the cowards they are, they held up inside a local hotel.
Eric Garner is dead and nothing will change because of that. At most, we will see a policy shift discouraging chokeholds (will of course not be abided by). Tomorrow or next week, there will be another Eric Garner. There will be another Eric Garner because there is still an NYPD precinct that wasn’t razed.
Read it in full: Where’s Eric Garner’s Amargosa?
A very good article by Ryan Calhoun on Eric Garner. I have said the same myself: until Americans begin to fight back aggressively against the police then the brutality will continue to escalate. Although many people would argue that fighting back will precipitate additional police aggression, I feel confident to say this line of reasoning is mistaken. It is the very willingness of people to fight back against the police that has kept police brutality in check in Europe and Latin America. Nor does the fear of additional police aggression delegitimize the right to fight back. It simply keeps people fearful, cowed and submissive. If Americans adopted this pessimistic attitude of defeat in the 18th century the American Revolution might have never happened.