It doesn't stop today, apparently. And it won't stop in New York State anytime soon if the the state Senate's incoming GOP majority has anything to say about it.
Even though the governor has called for a "soup to nuts" review of the justice system following the failure of a Staten Island gran jury to indict anyone in the death of Eric Garner at the hands of a half dozen NYPD cops, your state Senate GOP is essentially saying "Nah. The system worked."
"You don't want to fix something that's not broken," said Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn). "We'll look at anything, but I don't know what changes are going to be made."
Golden, a former NYPD cop, branded Garner's death "unfortunate," but claimed it would not have happened had the Staten Island resident not resisted arrest.
He also said that the grand jury process — which led to no indictment against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's chokehold death — worked properly.
"I personally think there's no changes to be made," Golden said. "The system worked. The grand jury acted appropriately."
Golden doesn't see anything awry with a system that leaves a father of 6 dead on a Staten Island street with no one held accountable. OK. At least he had the guts to put his name to that statement. One of his GOP colleague's faith in the status quo was apparently insufficient to allow him to go on the record.
One of Golden's Senate GOP agreed wholesale changes are unlikely.
"I don't think it's going to be too well received," the senator said. "Obviously Republicans generally are more law-and-order types."
One thing is almost certainly DOA is the proposal that is probably most important to reforming a system that seems rife with conflicts of interests, requiring special prosecutors to handle cases of police violence. But, as this brave and unfortunately nameless GOP senator informs us, even the less controversial (to "law and order types") proposals for things like body cameras and more training for police officers may be non starters as well.
Golden's fellow senator said he favors some reform measures, such as making the grand jury process more transparent and requiring more training and body cameras for officers — but quickly added that it's unclear if the entire GOP conference would undertake even those less controversial moves.
One seemingly non-starter is a proposal being pushed by Democrats to require that special prosecutors, not local district attorneys, handle cases where police kill unarmed civilians-an idea pooh-poohed by Golden and his colleague.
So the New York state Senate will remain, as it has been for years, the place where reform goes to die. Just keep in mind that, even as Governor Cuomo tells you how much he wants to restore faith in the system, that this is exactly the state Senate that the governor wanted.
(image via PIX11)