Blue Wall of Silence and Support for the Officers Involved in the Death of Eric Garner Exists Online


Last week’s death of Eric Garner, who was killed after a New York police officer apparently used an illegal choke hold during his arrest, has sparked outrage not only throughout New York City, but also throughout the country and online.


The violent arrest, which was captured on a cellphone video, was called “very troubling” by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. On Sunday, the Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking at Riverside Church in Manhattan, said he was appalled at the way police had handled the situation.  

“None of them said, ‘Let’s stop. He can’t breathe,’” the activist told churchgoers, the New York Daily News reports. “Even if police procedures don’t kick in, when does your sense of humanity kick in? Have we gotten so cold?”

So far two officers who were involved have been stripped of their badges and guns, and four EMS workers have been placed on modified duty.

As many social media have rallied in support of Garner, the blue wall of silence on various Internet communities reinforces the negative connotation that exists for the boys in blue. is a popular online community for law-enforcement members where a recent article in regard to Garner’s death was posted. Anonymous members, who have to be verified by the site to show that they are actually police officers, have commented on the article, and not only are the comments telling of the mentality of officers, but also, not shocking in the least.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being said:


If you can't breath you can't be able to talk. This POS died because he was a coronary waiting to happen. I am sure if he had just let them cuff him he might of been ok to eat another triple decker burger with double bacon again. But fat boy had to over exert himself and his blocked arteries caught up with him.


You may say "f&ck the police" but you may not f&ck with the police. It's sad that he died, but that blame goes to he and he alone. The police generally don't show up ten deep at your door just to say hey. This pervasive mentality that these assholes seem to have about not listening to the lawful orders of the police is what leads to these deaths and injuries. All he had to do was comply and he would not be dead. Tough s—t and too damn bad.


Of course the media isn't going to point out how many thousands of dollars of untaxable income a mope can make in a week selling illegal cigarettes (while also receiving welfare benefits)…


If he could talk, he could breath. He resisted arrest; they took him to the ground. I didn't see anything improper about the arrest.


Anytime a person says "I'm tired of it. It stops today." That will almost always end with the use of force. He made that decision, not the Police. The Police must effect the arrest and rise above any resistance. That resistance or lack of resistance is determined by the suspect. This was a huge man and it appears to me they used minimal force. Sometimes people with pre-existing conditions die when they exert themselves. There are Police Officers that have heart attacks and die every year during physical altercations with subjects. You will not see main stream media featuring those in their headlines. This is nothing more than petty blame shifting and fuel for extremist with an agenda. 


What’s so telling about most of the comments is that it shows a lack of compassion and a solidarity when it comes to some in law enforcement. It also further perpetuates the negative stereotype that many have for those in uniform. As the screams of injustice surrounding the death of Garner increase, it’s apparent that there are those who feel his death was justified. 

Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.


Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.