Thursday, December 4, 2014

We have Miranda rights...why not a Garner warning?

Eric Garner

"Sir, you are being placed under arrest. You do not have the right to resist. Please immediately turn and face the wall with your arms behind your back, or lie face down on the ground. If you do not do so, I will use physical force to ensure your compliance. I do not wish to injure you, but if you do not comply, it will be at your own risk. You are commanded to comply with my order NOW."

Not that anyone asked me. But if the police were required to give such a warning to any unarmed person who appears prepared to resist arrest, Eric Garner might be alive today.


  1. Good idea ... not expedient enough for all those life and death split second decisions cops have to make between doughnut shops or pulling a trigger.

    1. "You are being ordered to serve me a glazed donut and a medium coffee, extra light with two sugars."

      Seriously, I can imagine many circumstances in which a Garner Warning would be practical and useful (i.e., where there is no apparent risk of flight, as obviously was the case with Garner), as well as many in which it wouldn't be. So it could be optional, and when used it would protect both the officer and the arrestee.

      "Officer Dryzenyvich, did you give the assailant a Garner Warning?"

      "Yes I did. It is evident on the video that I did."

      "Then he was given fair warning."

    2. I agree that this tragedy could have been avoided. Anyone should be told clearly that they are being placed under arrest and the legal basis for the arrest. They should also be given an opportunity to comply voluntarily. Police should, in most cases with unarmed suspects, be able to transport someone to the station without placing them face down on the ground. I also think that the size and build of the suspect is a factor in police wanting the suspect to be on the ground. Eric Garner did not deserve the treatment he received, especially when he was so outnumbered.