Reasonable Doubt in Mark O’Mara

Mark O’Mara: “I think people need to understand that when someone says to you ‘You’re under arrest’, the argument is over. At that point you have to acknowledge the authority of the police officer. The court system will take care of whether or not it was a proper arrest.”

Mark O’Mara’s syllogism:

a. Police officers have the authority to arrest citizens.
b. Court systems have the authority to acquit citizens.
c. Therefore, Eric Garner was justly killed.

This embarrassing truncation of logic, which sadly seems quite at home in the rhetoric of popular news media, grants that this police officer was not violating Eric Garner’s fourth amendment rights. Fine. Perhaps it was a reasonable search. Perhaps not.

But either way, is it not perhaps appropriate to consider that Eric Garner might have had reasonable doubt that his constitutional rights would have actually been defended by the court systems which have the power to acquit him if wrongfully charged, the same courts which have the power to indict him if wrongfully charged–simply by stating he was rightfully charged? Is it not an appropriate time in light of current events at least to question the legitimacy of the relationship between a and b in the above argument? Is there no evidence to suggest that the profile of a guy like Daniel Pantaleo is weighted favorably against the profile of a guy like Eric Garner in our court systems?

In any case, I’ll avoid commenting on the fact that Eric Garner’s crime was being suspected of selling loose cigarettes and officer Pantaleo’s crime is being suspected of murdering Eric Garner; I’ll avoid pointing out that according to NYPD policy police officers not allowed to use chokeholds; I’ll avoid pointing out the ludicrousness of O’Mara speaking of this case as though Eric Garner is the one who should be on trial; I’ll avoid pointing out that Eric Garner is dead. And I’ll certainly avoid pointing out that this Mark O’Mara is the same Mark O’Mara who represented George Zimmerman in the murder trial of Trayvon Martin. That would just be too damning a coincidence to point out at such a time as this. And I surely want to be sensitive to Mark O’Mara. I wouldn’t want anyone to go and start picking on lawyers…


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