Cigarette Tax Killed Eric Gardner

Choked to death!
Choked to death!

Apprehension prevented me from dwelling into the debacle that occurred in Ferguson. I started to write about Ferguson; the rioting, the looting, the indiscriminate shooting, the burning of private businesses, and, of course, the protests that spread pervasively throughout the country. But after reading that the Long Island grand jury failed to indict Daniel Pantaelo for the killing of Eric Gardner, this was issue that I could not ignore. The video lucidly illustrated Eric Gardner’s death and lacks all ambiguity; the officer placed him in a chokehold/takedown or some similar maneuver preventing him from breathing, which evidently resulted in Gardner’s death.

Nearly the entire world observed the video, the majority agreed that the officer utilized excessive force in an attempt to restrain the 6’4 300 pound Eric Gardner. Liberal and conservatives, most with just an ounce of empathy were in dismay of the failed indictment of  Officer Pantaelo, if not murder at least involuntary manslaughter. Current and former Presidents have even addressed the Gardner case, clearly both parties have an issue with the verdict. The video was as clear as one can get, Gardner was obviously approached by the NYPD before because he was explaining to the officers that they were always messing with him, before he was placed in a  chokehold. Gardner, of course, struggled to yell that he could not breathe.

The scene in the video, where Gardner yelled for his life may have been one of the most disheartening

States have problem taxing you to keep you healthy.
States have a problem taxing you to keep you healthy.

encounters I have witnessed. It doesn’t amaze me why many are agitated over the verdict, resulting in protests throughout NYC and now the country. However, much of the blame needs to be redirect toward New York’s cigarette tax, which exorbitantly higher than most than all 50 states. According to the Tax Foundation New York state includes a $4.35 tax on cigarettes and if that is not enough, NYC adds an additional $1.50 (forcing tax payers to pay  $5.85). This tax hike on cigarette created a black market on the product.

Now according to allegations, Gardner was selling loose cigarettes (aka loosie on the streets) in front of a convenience store and the police were notified. There is a possibility that Gardner may have traveled to a neighboring state (Pennsylvania or Jersey) to purchase cigarettes to avoid the high prices of cigarettes. It makes logical sense for someone to want to participate in the voluntarily exchange system; it is essence what is the free market. Generating revenue is the motivation of the state, we see it all over the nation from the smallest jurisdiction to the largest, like NYC. The motivation of revenue generation reduces police actions to address real criminal activity, i.e., violent crimes and theft.

When it comes to socially conscious and environmental issues, our legislator believes they have our best interest at heart. They pass asinine legislation, designed to benefit entire communities, but in reality it impedes on the freedoms, specific groups. When social laws are passed it destroys the voluntary exchange of two parties, creating a totalitarian state. Officer Pantaelo and the other officers who were obviously on a power trip were just doing their job, when restraining Gardner. Enforcing a revenue generating law was so imperative that it was worth the life of Eric Garner. All laws are backed up by force, without the existence of these laws, Gardner and other like him would be alive to this day.

The Outcome of this Event 

Civil unrest is certainly the outcome that the federal government and the global elites anticipate. Americans, especially in the black community are exasperated of the recent number of black men being killed by the police all over the country. However, we must be careful as a society because any crisis will be manipulated be the government and the media. The government will utilize these crises to implement federal standards, policies, or training for local police departments, in essence, creating a federal police force at local the level. The media and government both are using race as a divide and conquer technique to distract the citizenry from many of the real issues transpiring around the world.


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